Bookmakers criticised over ad


An advertisement for Irish bookmakers Paddy Power aired over the weekend on Sky Sports television has been criticised for its “deeply transphobic content”.

The 31-second ad promises to make ladies day at the Cheltenham horse racing festival “even more exciting” by adding some “beautiful transgendered ladies” to a crowd of race-goers.

Viewers are then asked to “spot the stallions from the mares”.

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (Teni) called upon the bookmakers to withdraw the ad on the basis of it being transphobic.

Teni’s Vanessa Lacey said she had received a number of complaints from people feeling “mocked, ridiculed and deeply hurt” by the ad.

“I cannot understand how Paddy Power think this is funny," she added.

However,  Paddy Power said he is “really surprised” by some of the negative reaction to the ad.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Power said the ad is designed to be a “bit of mild-mannered fun in the run up to Cheltenham and is not designed to be in anyway offensive”.

He added the ad had been vetted ahead of airing by British advertising watchdog Clearcast and features several members of the UK transgender community. Mr Power said the company had no intention of pulling the clip.

Frank Goodman of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) said his office is dealing with a number of complaints and will pass them on to the authority’s British counterpart as the ad aired in the UK.

A spokesman for the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland said they had not received any complaints to date.

The ad is not being aired on Irish television.