Here is the current state of play.
ESPN have pulled the ad saying:
“We’ve reviewed the commercial in question, and have made an internal editorial decision that it will not run on ESPN.”
Channel 4 home of terrestrial racing coverage in the UK will run it they say that while they as a channel have a duty to make sure that all ads meet the advertising code, they will:
“leave it up to our viewers to make their own judgment about the adverts they have seen”.
This from the channel that showed the issues of transgender individuals in My Transexual Summer in recent months!
BSkyB will also continue to show it, they have said:
“Prior to transmission all advertising is checked by Clearcast, an independent body dedicated to applying the ASA rules and regulations on advertising. If, retrospectively, any ad is thought unsuitable for broadcast, the ASA can step in. When they do so, we always comply with the judgments they make.”
Clearcast clearance was also the excuse that Paddy Power gave in their statement on this issue:
“Several members of the UK transgender community are cast in the ad, and it was also cleared by Clearcast [which pre-vets TV ads] before airing. This ad is simply a bit of mild-mannered fun in the runup to the Cheltenham festival.”
I wonder how many members of the Clearcast clearance panel have ever heard a transgender woman talk to them one on one about the fears that they have of being publicly outed in the way that the advert wants to call a game to liven up Cheltenham Ladies Day? How many of them have seen the fear and trembling of a transgender women talking about an instance where someone has been threatening toward her when they guessed or discovered their birth identity.
Well done to ESPN on coming to their own conclusion on seeing the public reaction to this advert and shame on BSkyB and Channel 4 for not realising that the public have already spoken.