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Controversial Paddy Power Ladies' Day ad pulled

Having earlier given the ad its approval for airing, Clearcast yesterday apologised for any offence and said the ad should “no longer run” in its current format.

A still image from the Paddy Power ad.
A still image from the Paddy Power ad.
Image: YouTube

A PADDY POWER advertising campaign which an Irish transgender support group had criticised as offensive and “deeply transphobic” has been suspended from UK television.

The Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) called on Paddy Power to withdraw the video it was using to promote Cheltenham Ladies’ Day, with TENI National Development Worker Vanessa Lacey saying it made people feel “mocked and ridiculed”.

In the ad, a narrator says that Paddy Power aims to make the 2012 Ladies’ Day “even more exciting by sending in some beautiful transgendered ladies”, followed by images of different women. Racegoers are then invited to “spot the stallions from the mares”.

In a statement, Paddy Power confirmed that although the British television advertising clearance body Clearcast had approved the advert for airing on TV, Clearcast and television broadcasters had decided to suspend the ad.

The bookmaker said it had engaged with UK transgender group The Beaumont Society for consultation on the ad’s script and that the organisation had found “nothing untoward with the advert concept”. It also said that members of the transgender community were cast in the commercial.

“Given the attention and diligence we demonstrated throughout the development of this commercial, we are very disappointed by today’s decision,” Paddy Power said in a statement.

“Finally it is worth pointing out that the commercial, which went live on YouTube less than one week ago, has almost 250,000 views with more ‘likes’ than ‘dislikes’.”

In a statement issued yesterday, Clearcast said it had taken Paddy Power’s consultations with The Beaumont Society into consideration when initially approving the ad, but said that in light of the complaints received following its airing, “it appears that the ad has caused offence and in consultation with broadcasters, it has been decided that the ad should no longer run on their TV or VoD services in its current format.”

“We regret offence that may have been caused,” it added.

Call for ‘transphobic’ Paddy Power advert to be withdrawn >

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