A young woman is on a beach making a call on her mobile phone.
Female: "Hi Malcolm, I won’t be in again today."
Male: "So, what’s wrong with you this time Claire?"
Female: "It’s (pauses)… a woman’s problem."
Male: "Take as long as you need". The man is portrayed as being visibly uncomfortable with the conversation.
MVO: "The lotto jackpot is an estimated €4.5 million. Play at any National Lottery Agent or play now at Lottery.ie
What’s the first thing you’d do?"
The complainant considered that the advertisement was offensive on the basis that women were struggling to get equality in the workplace while also trying to deal with issues such as ‘women’s problems’. She did not consider that it was appropriate for the advertisement to make a joke out of this situation and also, she considered that it was putting doubt into other minds that such problems were being used as an excuse to take time off work.
The advertisers’ stated that the overall advertising campaign was centred on the idea “What’s the first thing you’d do if you won the Lotto?” They stated that the main advertisement in the campaign showed a series of humorous scenes where someone was missing, then revealed that they had stopped whatever they were doing to rush to the airport because their friend has won the Lotto and was taking them all on holiday. They said that several of the Lotto winner’s friends had left their jobs in order to go on the holiday, including the female character from the current advertisement, Claire. They stated that this advertisement was meant to tell a bit more about Claire’s background and the job that she had left behind and was not intended to make fun of ‘women’s problems’. They said that rather it was their intention that the humour of the situation was derived from the male character’s discomfort and Claire’s knowledge that she could provoke such discomfort and therefore, the joke was on him.
The advertiser also stated that the National Lottery’s advertising was targeted at an adult market and was not placed in any programming that was aimed at children under the age of 18 years. They also stated that the in the overall context of the advertising and its various scenarios, there was no attempt to demean either women or men.
They regret that the complainant found the content of the advertisement offensive, however, they stated that the advertisement had been on air for almost a year and a half and they have received very positive feedback and therefore, they did not consider that the advertisement had caused grave or widespread offence.
Complaint Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee, while noting the complainant’s concerns, did not consider that the advertising was making light of such issues, nor did they consider that the advertisement had caused grave or widespread offence. In the circumstances the Committee did not consider that the advertising was in breach of Sections 2.16, 2.17 or 2.18 of the Code.
No further action required.