Paddy Power advert 'offensive'

 

Bookmaker Paddy Power has fallen foul of the UK's Advertising Standards Authority over an advert for Ladies' Day at the Cheltenham Festival which featured transgender individuals.

The TV ad, screened in February ahead the annual racing event, stated “...we're going to make Ladies' Day even more exciting by sending in some beautiful transgendered ladies. Spot the stallions from the mares”.

It showed a series of brief shots of people at the Cheltenham venue while the voiceover attempted to guess their gender.

In one scene a woman was shown holding a dog while the voiceover stated “woman” then hesitated while the shot changed to show a woman walking out of a men's toilet and stated “dog, I mean man”.

The authority received 92 complaints about the advert and upheld the view that it was offensive and condoned and encouraged harmful discriminatory behaviour towards the transgender community.

“The suggestion that trans people could be segregated into the gender stereotypes 'stallions' and 'mares' as part of a guessing game, trivialised a complex and difficult issue and objectified them in a way that was likely to cause them serious offence,” the authority said in its adjudication.



Paddy Power said it consulted the Beaumont Society, which it understood was the largest and longest established transgender support group in the UK, to ensure the ad met broadcasting and decency standards.

The bookmaker said it was never the intention to cause harm or offence and it was “saddened” to learn that some viewers were offended by the ad.

It added the concept behind the ad was to create interest around Ladies' Day in a humorous and light-hearted way and “the ad did not cause, and could not reasonably be construed as causing, serious offence”.