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Complaints over nightclub's 'golf hole' billboard and Ryanair Leaving Cert ad upheld

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Undated handout photo of a billboard with the advert for Libertys night club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Undated handout photo of a billboard with the advert for Libertys night club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Undated handout photo of a billboard with the advert for Libertys night club. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

An Irish nightclub's billboard containing an image of a female golfer with the message "Your 19th hole for the summer" was in breach of advertising guidelines, the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland has ruled.

The advert by Liberty's in Buncrana, Co Donegal featured the back of a woman golfer's body.

"Liberty's: Your 19th hole for the summer," it read.

The ASAI received 64 complaints in total.

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The image was posted on social media as the Leaving Cert exams get underway in Ireland today

The image was posted on social media as the Leaving Cert exams get underway in Ireland today

The image was posted on social media as the Leaving Cert exams get underway in Ireland today

Some of the main issues raised were the "depiction of the woman reduced her to a sexual object" and that the advertisement implied the woman was a 'golf hole'.

Other complainants suggested that despite the golfing term '19th hole' relating to a club bar, in this case it was reference to the woman's bottom.

In upholding the complaints, the ASAI said advertisements should avoid causing offence on the grounds of gender or the exploitation or demeaning of women and should respect the principle of the equality of men and women.

Another Donegal nightclub was also in hot water with the ASAI over misleading advertising about 99c drinks, a Santa's grotto and a fake snow machine.

A customer complained that a poster stated that the nightclub would have 99c drinks all night, but claimed only one drink was available at that price.

He also expressed disappointment at the fact no fake snow machine was present, despite being advertised.

The complaint also stated there were no crackers or Christmas sweets, no Santa's grotto and a different DJ performed to the one advertised.

It was upheld by the Complaints Committee, who expressed concern at the advertisers' failure to respond to the complaint.

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"In absence of a response from The Pulse Venue, the Committee concluded that the advertisement was in breach of Code sections 3. 10, 4.1 and 4.4."

Meanwhile, a complaint against Ryanair over a Leaving Cert advert on Twitter was also upheld.

As 55,770 students began their Leaving Certificate exams in June, the airline posted the following ad: "To all #Leaving Cert and #ALevel students: plan your dream summer holiday now so you have something to look forward to. (Plane emoji on Twitter post) (Sunglasses emoji on the Facebook post.) Book on ryanair.com in between "studying" tonight. This could be you (Hand emoji pointing downwards to an image below)."

Complainants said the advert "normalised and encouraged drunken behaviour" and was "irresponsible towards young people".

The ASAI upheld the complaints and noted that Ryanair immediately withdrew the advertising when requested.

"Advertisements should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to consumers and to society and that marketing communications may not suggest, or commend, or make fun of over-indulgence in respect of alcohol or its after-effects," the Complaints Committee said.


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