Ladies Day advert got viewers racing to complain
A PADDY POWER television ad attracted the largest number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) last year.
The video, which promoted the bookmaker's services for Ladies Day at Cheltenham, challenged viewers to identify whether the featured women were real or transgendered.
"Separate the stallions from the mares," the voiceover of the TV ad said.
The item received more than 400 complaints which were eventually upheld by the ASAI.
At the time Paddy Power said that the ad was "simply a bit of mild-mannered fun in the run up to the Cheltenham festival".
"Several members of the UK transgender community are cast in the ad," a spokesman added.
The ad was pulled from TV before the case was determined by the ASAI. However, it is still available online.
The ASAI received around 2,000 complaints in 2012 – more than in any other year.
It received 140 complaints about billboards placed by anti-abortion group Youth Defence.
However, it could not investigate because the advertisements were not commercial in nature.
A provocative ad placed on the Facebook page of Alchemy nightclub in Dublin received 250 complaints but was also outside the remit of the ASAI.
Meanwhile, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) revealed that TV3's 'Psychic Readings Live' programme received the most complaints last year.
It cost callers up to €80 for half an hour of "readings" from people who claimed supernatural powers, such as clairvoyance and the ability to talk to angels.
In some cases the presenters offered callers an opinion on health matters.
The programme was eventually pulled last month. It received a total of 29 complaints – nearly a quarter of all complaints made to the BAI last year.
Ten of those complaints were upheld.