As predicted, PaddyPower has duly had a wrist-slap from the ASA over its ‘guess the tranny’ game, after 92 complaints were lodged (collected stuff on PaddyPower adverts here)
Hilariously PaddyPower claimed it meant no offence and rejected the claim that it reinforced negative stereotypes.
As it has pointed out before, PaddyPower asked the Beaumont Group, apparently a leading transgender group in the UK, and apparently received the thumbs-up. The reality was rather more complicated.
The ASA disagreed with virtually everything PaddyPower had to say, judging that the ad:
trivialised a complex and difficult issue and objectified
depicted… negative stereotypes in a way that was also likely to be seriously offensive to trans people;
was likely to cause serious offence;
trivialised a highly complex issue and depicted a number of common negative stereotypes about trans people;
irresponsibly reinforced… negative stereotypes;
condoned and encouraged harmful discriminatory behaviour and treatment;
breached BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence);
breached BCAP Code rules 1.2 (Social responsibility).
The ad must not be shown in public again, but it’s all a bit stable door and bolted horse, really. Advertisers understand this and play the system so that they can run offensive ads and reap subsequent infamy from the resulting news stories.
What does PaddyPower have up its sleeve next, I wonder?
NB. Read the full judgement here