The following statement was put out officially by Paddy Power this afternoon:
“We were surprised and disappointed to learn today of the decision by the British TV advertising regulator along with television broadcasters to suspend our “Lady’s Day” commercial from airing in the UK.
“This decision is especially frustrating given that the commercial was already pre-approved by British television advertising clearance body Clearcast, just one week ago, who then considered the humour in the advert, while not to everyone’s taste, fell short of causing offence.
“Additionally, we reached out to leading UK transgender group, The Beaumont Society, for feedback on the script.
“The Beaumont Society stated there was “nothing untoward with the advert concept” and felt it was not inappropriate since “the entire campaign would be a tongue-in-cheek look at the Ladies Day’s at race meeting where these day’s a large number of cross dresser’s make a day of it”
“Furthermore, we exclusively cast members of the Trans community in the various transgender roles in the commercial.
“Given the attention and diligence we demonstrated throughout the development of this commercial, we are very disappointed by today’s decision.
“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’.
“The next commercial in Paddy Power’s “We Hear You” advertising campaign “CHAVS” will be broadcast on the company’s YouTube channel later today.
– ENDS –
So there you have it. Following massive pressure not just from the trans community, but women’s groups and others concerned by the potential for violence that this campaign generated, Paddy Power have pulled their campaign.
Now its the turn of Chavs to suffer Paddy Power’s wit and wisdom.
What stands out from this? Two things, i think.
First, the complete lack of recognition by Paddy Power that this went way beyond offense: that it actually created real risk for women – trans and non-trans.
Worse, just pulling the ad may not be enough. Because the decision will receive high profile coverage in all the usual places – the Sun, the Daily Mail and so on – and there is real risk that a backlash will follow.
We’re not out of the woods yet.
The lack of apology from Paddy Power: the continued claim that the fact they have more “likes” than “dislikes” suggests they STILL don’t get it. Its not – never has been – just about the offense.
Second, a major casualty from this has to be the Beaumont Society – though maybe, longer term, the outcome will be positive. They have been seen for too long as the “go-to organisation” by press and media when really they are nothing of the sort.
They cater to a very specific sub-set of trans interest and are way off beam when it comes to the community. That’s not an issue – so long as both they and the press recognise the reality.
Time, perhaps for the tabloids to stop thinking that the easiest place to get a quote on trans matters is always going to be the Beaumont. Sure: SOMETIMES it still will be.
But time, instead, for them to wake up to the existence of grown-up serious organisations like Trans Media Watch and Press For Change.
This chapter is drawing to a close. The story continues.
Further information, in the form of an official statement from broadcasting pre-approval organisation Clearcast can be found here.
And a warm and most heartfelt thanks has just been phoned over to TMW and all the UK trans community from TENI in Ireland. Their message: “Well done! Its a great day for the trans community.”