The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against an offensive greyhound stadium advert in which a woman was referred to as a dog.
The radio ad for a Waterford IT racing event at Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadium was broadcast on Beat 102-103. It included the following content: “Male 1: Would you look at the dog over there? / Male 2: What? Man, you can’t talk about her like that. I think she looks grand, y’know. / Male 1: Nah, don’t mind her. She is a dog. I’m talking about the greyhound behind her. She’s a fine breed.”
The individual who complained about the ad said that referring to a woman as ‘a dog’ was offensive to women.
Defending the ad, Beat 102-103 maintained that “they had never directly referred to a woman as a dog and the reference to ‘she is a dog’ was in reference to the ‘greyhound’.”
However, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld the complaint, saying that its complaints committee “considered that the reference to ‘I’m talking about the greyhound behind her’ indicated that the entire focus was not on the greyhound as specified by the advertisers [and] therefore that the advertising was demeaning to women and in breach of Sections 2.16, 2.17 and 2.18 of the Code.”
The committee also ruled that the advert should not be broadcast in its current form again.
Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland Code – Relevant Sections
Decency and Propriety
2.16 Marketing communications should respect the dignity of all persons and should avoid causing offence on grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the traveller community.
2.17 Marketing communications should respect the principle of the equality of men and women. They should avoid sex stereotyping and any exploitation or demeaning of men and women. Where appropriate, marketing communications should use generic terms that include both the masculine and feminine gender; for example, the term ‘business executive’ covers both men and women.
2.18 To avoid causing offence, marketing communications should be responsive to the diversity in Irish society and marketing communications which portray or refer to people within the groups mentioned in 2.16 should:
(a) respect the principle of equality in any depiction of these groups;
(b) fully respect their dignity and not subject them to ridicule or offensive humour;
(c) avoid stereotyping and negative or hurtful images;
(d) not exploit them for unrelated marketing purposes;
(e) not ridicule or exploit religious beliefs, symbols, rites or practices.
If you wish to make a complaint about an advert, please visit http://www.asai.ie/complaintoptions.asp