Irish businessman defends 'nude' GAA model promotion
A successful Irish businessman in Australia has defended his decision to promote a local GAA club by using a nearly nude model.
Eamon Eastwood, who runs food importing business Taste Ireland, decided to use a model whose body was painted with the late Cormac McAnallen's GAA strip as well as the Taste Ireland and GAA logos for a family event in Sydney at the weekend.
The model, Chantelle Newman, was paid for her modelling services, and posed proudly at Padraig Peases GAA Sevens event at Gaelic Park in Melbourne for several hours.
Mr Eastwood has since apologised for the 'ambush marketing' tactic, according to Australia's Irish Echo.
However, he would not apologise for the 'beauty' of the human form as the rationale behind his decision after Ms Newman was referred to as a 'stripper' by one critic.
“Chantelle is not a stripper, she is a female model,” Eastwood said in a statement.
“Art can be provocative, sometimes deliberately,” he wrote. “Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m sorry to hear that it offended you and your kids.
“As CEO of Taste Ireland, I take full responsibility of the marketing campaign – no GAA football team or association was aware we were going to do it. The term is commonly refereed to as ambush marketing. The impact is in the surprise. In today’s market, place getting messages across to ones target market is an ever changing and constant challenge.”
The entrepreneur is still under fire from the GAA community Down Under, and President of the Geelong Irish Society Owen Sharkey explained that he was shocked by the stunt.
“I wonder what message was sent to my three daughters and many other children when they watched (by all reports) a $300 stripper stand naked (except for small underwear and two band aids the size of 20c pieces covering her nipples) while two other women painted her body and onlookers stood watching,” he said.
“I find it hard to believe that the Victoria GAA would not scrutinise something like this … and allow such a stunt to take place.”
“My eight year old daughter remarked to me “is that not inappropriate?” This degrading act is a slap in the face to all the women that have fought hard in making Camogie and women’s football such a popular spectacle."