They say that the Cheltenham Festival of racing is one of Ireland's finest hours every year. Even if the Irish are losing money hand over fist at the trackside bookies.
However, Ireland's largest and most successful bookmakers Paddy Power have brought shame on themselves with their current advert leading up to Ireland's biggest betting week for their mobile app.
In the ad they say that they are "going to make Ladies Day even more exciting by adding some beautiful transgendered ladies: Spot the Stallions from the Mares."
You can read the rest on the blog post. It has since been quoted extensively in The Guardian as well as beating Pink News to the story, thereby being quoted. The story is currently accounting for over a third of the life time hits on the LGBT+ Lib Dems Northern Ireland blog.
Paddy Power have apparently finally issued a statement saying:
"Several members of the UK transgender community are cast in the ad, and it was also cleared by Clear Cast before airing. This ad is simply a bit of mild mannered fun in the run up to the Cheltenham Festival."
I wonder did they know the content, context or voice over ramifications of the advert they were making? Most appear to be in crowd scenes which means they could have been shot for any purpose. The only one doing any action shots is the person seen leaving the male toilets. I think the reaction that Paddy Power is making them seriously rethink what they have done. Though we have yet to see a public apology and their standard response to complaints
"Paddy Power has a long-held reputation of breaking the mould and doing things that are new and innovative for our customers and viewers. Our aim though is always to entertain, never to offend, and we apologise for any upset caused."
shows that they have not grasped the seriousness of what they have done.