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Donegal nightclub slapped on wrist for 'shag a ginger' night ad

The advertising watchdog has ordered that the ad not be used in the same format again.

THE ADVERTISING WATCHDOG has upheld a complaint against a poster promoting a “shag a ginger” night at a Donegal nightclub.

The Pulse Venue in Letterkenny sparked controversy last year after advertising the event online and through local media.

The poster in question stated that “gingers” would be given free entry to the venue before midnight.

It said a DJ named “Ginger Nuts” would perform on the night and that a hairdressing team would be on hand to dye patrons’ hair red.

The ad featured a picture of two red-haired people with the overhead caption “Free condom giveaway”.

The name of the event was changed to “Kiss me, I’m ginger” after a local priest campaigned for the original theme to be dropped.

Mental health

One woman who complained to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) said she considered the marketing campaign to be “highly offensive and derogatory”.

The complainant said she had experienced both verbal and physical abuse as a child because of her red hair. She told the ASAI she believed this type of advertising to be damaging to the mental health of other young people.

The ASAI upheld the objection and ruled that the ad not be used in the same format again.

The watchdog said the business did not respond to the complaint and therefore failed to substantiate the claims made in the poster, as required by advertising rules.

The poster was one of 13 ads recently found to be in breach of ASAI guidelines. The other rulings can be read here.

Read: Irish company’s Caitlyn Jenner ad ‘offensive, transphobic and demeaning to transgender people everywhere’

Read: Here’s why people thought this ad for smoked ham was ‘offensive and disrespectful’

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Catherine Healy

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