Paddy Power is being investigated by Advertising standards following 360 complaints after the launch of their recent campaign which asks viewers to spot the “transgendered ladies” among a crowd of racing fans at the Cheltenham festival.
Paddy Power and broadcaster BSkyB were accused of inciting transphobia with the campaign, which promised to make the festival’s Ladies’ Day “even more exciting by adding some beautiful transgendered ladies, “Spot the stallions from the mares”. The ad goes on to show a series of shots of well-dressed racegoers with a voiceover guessing which are men and which are women.
The campaign was inspired by Ian Reed, a twitter user, who tweeted Paddy Power stating he was looking forward to checking out the talent at the festival. I don’t think he could have foreseen this campaign and the controversy it is causing.
The ad was broadcast on Sky Sports at the weekend, and immediately drew criticism from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
LGBT Lib Dems Northern Ireland said Paddy Power has brought “shame on itself” and that the marketing tactic was in poor taste at a time when the UK government is trying to wipe out all forms of prejudice in sport.
“To use the subject of transgender in such a degrading and mocking way is a clear-cut case of transphobia,” states the organisation on its website.
Paddy Power, what are you thinking? This is almost as shameful as your 2010 ad which showed blind footballers kicking a cat.
Love Niamh x