Racy crisps ads not so Hunky Dory, say rugby chiefs
Irish rugby chiefs called in their lawyers last night over a new ad campaign featuring scantily-clad female players.
Sports officials slammed the provocative Hunky Dorys crisps billboards - with the tagline Proud Sponsors of Irish Rugby - as tasteless and called on the company to scrap them straight away.
But the snack firm, which sponsors All-Ireland League Division 3 side Navan, insisted it had a right to print the claim alongside a revealing shot of a model clutching a rugby ball and the phrase Are You Staring at My Crisps?
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said the sponsorship line wrongly implied the company was a major donor to the game.
"This advertising campaign is in very bad taste and one which the IRFU would not want to be associated with in any way," spokesman Padraig Power said.
"Its blatant exploitation of women is tasteless and base, and quite simply unacceptable.
"Irish Rugby has a strong family focus and would not tolerate any connection with such an approach".
Mr Power said IRFU solicitors had contacted Hunky Dorys' distributors Largo Foods to request the immediate withdrawal of the campaign.
"We are also writing to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) bringing to their attention the misleading claims," he added.
"The claim that the product is a proud sponsor of Irish Rugby implies that the company is a significant sponsor of the game in this country, though the IRFU.
"This is absolutely untrue and a cynical ploy in an attempt to capitalise on the games popularity.
"By doing so it has the potential to undermine the legitimate claims of the many genuine sponsors and supporters of Irish Rugby whose investment has been a key element in the success of rugby at grass roots level throughout the country, and of our Provincial and National Teams."
The new campaign is not the first to land Hunky Dorys in hot water.
In 2005 around 60 complaints were lodged with the ASAI against an advert featuring three lingerie-wearing models and the slogan "Which one would you throw out of bed for eating Hunky Dorys?".
ASAI chief executive Frank Goodman last night said more than 20 people had contacted the authority about the latest advert.
"We will be taking it up with the advertiser tomorrow," he added.