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21 DEC 2012
Complaints against Meteor's advertisement upheld
The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) has upheld complaints against Irish telecommunications company Meteor for an advertisement that promoted transgender stereotypes and encouraged a cheap laugh at the expense of trans people.
The ASAI reviewed the complaints and the response of the advertiser and found that "the advertisement must not appear again in the same format."
In October, TENI galvanized people to speak out against the ad with the twitter campaign #MeteorShame which trended in Ireland for several hours on 16th October and was tweeted over 1300 times. The campaign featured recent comments from trans people on how they felt about trans representation in the media. It also highlighted the exacerbation of depression and debilitating isolation to which irresponsible media directly contributes.
"This ruling is a victory for the transgender community," said TENI Director Broden Giambrone. "We are thrilled that the ASAI has upheld the complaints. We hope this sends a clear message to advertisers that trans people must be treated with the same dignity and respect that all communities should be afforded."
Excerpt from ASAI Case Report:
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the responses from the advertiser. They also considered the number of complaints received.
The Committee accepted that the transgender community were vulnerable as suggested by a number of complainants. They noted that there was a long tradition of men dressing as women for example, in pantomine and that it would not be appropriate to prohibit the depiction of men dressed as women in all circumstances. They considered, however, that great care should always be taken in depicting or referring to vulnerable groups who were subject to stereotyping.
They noted for this case that the advertisement had associated the statement ‘Don’t dance for it’ with the scene portrayed in the bar. They considered that this implied an element of desperation in an individual visiting such a bar and that it would be unacceptable for a man seeking broadband cover to dance with the man dressed as a woman.
The Committee considered the treatment of this advertisement had caused offence and they upheld the complaints under sections 2.16 and 2.18 (b) of the Code.