Broadcasters pull Paddy Power ad

Channel 4 and BSkyB have pulled a Paddy Power ad that asked viewers to spot the “transgendered” ladies featured after hundreds of viewers complained the spot was offensive.

Paddy Power

The two broadcasters, in consultation with pre-broadcast content advice body Clearcast, have decided to stop running the ad. Almost 400 people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the spot, which asked whether racegoers at the Cheltenham Festival were “stallions or mares”, was derogatory to transgender people.

It is a u-turn by Clearcast, which had okayed the ad after transsexual body, Beaumont Society, green-lit the script.

It is rare for an ad to be pulled by a broadcaster and more unusual that Clearcast would reverse its initial decision. The Advertising Standards Authority had launched a formal investigation but had not reached its conclusion.

A statement on the Clearcast website says: “following a number of complaints over the last few days, it appears that the ad has caused offence and in consultation with broadcasters, it has been decided that the ad should no longer run on their TV or VoD services in its current format. Clearcast regrets any offence that may have been caused.”

Paddy Power says it is “surprised and disappointed” at the decision to pull the ad.

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