However, Ireland’s largest and most successful bookmakers Paddy Power have brought shame on themselves with their current advert leading up to Ireland’s biggest betting week for their mobile app.
In the ad they say that they are “going to make Ladies Day even more exciting by adding some beautiful transgendered ladies: Spot the Stallions from the Mares.” They then proceed in an inane guessing game as to whether ladies are men or ladies. There is even a clip at one point where a women walks out of the gents as the voice over says “dog, err man”.
To use the subject of transgender is such a degrading and mocking way is a clear cut case of transphobia. I suspect that most of the actors were actually drag artists and not transgendered people at all.
What is worse is that the advert appeared during Sky Sports very popular Soccer Saturday not just once but three times. So while we have the UK government running a campaign to wipe out transphobia in sport we have the nations number one sports channel showing such an advert.
We should be beyond mocking people’s differences in 2012, but sadly Paddy Power and Sky Sports once again show that in the macho world of sport that is not necessarily the case.
Read also the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) have also written about their call on Paddy Power to remove this advert.
Update The Cheltenham Festival have picked up on outrage that many people have made about the advert. However, instead of distancing themselves from the advert which uses their event as the premise they say:
“Watch their Ladies Day Ad below. Some people might find it offensive. Some people thought it was just a bit of a laugh. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!”
I’m glad to report that the comments they are getting are largely coming out on the offensive side.
Update 2 – 20 Feb 11:20 This blog post as well as the comments LGBT+ Lib Dems NI Coordinator Stephen Glenn posted on the Cheltenham Festival website have both appeared in The Guardian today. 13:20 And now also in Pink News. 19:25 Even the Daily Mail are quoting from the above at length.
Update 3 In the comments below we have been forwarded the standard response that Paddy Power Customer Service have been issuing in response to complaints it reads:
Thank you for contacting Paddy Power Customer Support.
Paddy Power has a long-held reputation of breaking the mould and doing things that are new and innovative for our customers and viewers. Our aim though is always to entertain, never to offend, and we apologise for any upset caused.
Sadly if Paddy Power, their advertising executives, anyone who has run these ads or the Cheltenham Festival, feel that this ad poking fun at Transgendered women or playing a game of spot the CIS or Trans woman is new or innovative they really should wake up to the 21st Century.