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Advertiser: The Pulse Venue (Letterkenny)
Medium: Internet (Third Party Website), Regional Press
The advertisement, which appeared in regional press and on the third party website joe.ie featured pictures of two young people with red hair. Packets of Durex condoms featured in between the pictures with an overhead caption “FREE CONDOM GIVEAWAY”.
The following text was also present:
“Official LYIT Student Venue 2015/16
Official Student Night
Shag a Ginger Night
DJ Ginger Nuts on the decks
Gingers FREE B4 12AM
Wed Oct 7th
Get your hair dyed ginger by our hairdressing team
Doors open 11pm // €5 before 12AM - €7 after // www.pulsevenue.ie//”
The complainant said that she considered the marketing communication to be highly offensive and derogatory. She queried why it was considered funny to ridicule people because of the colour of their hair. She said that having experienced both verbal and physical abuse as a child because of her red hair, this type of advertising was damaging to the mental health of young people.
The advertisers failed to respond to the complaint.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and expressed their concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond in the matter. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code. In the absence of a response from the advertisers, the Committee upheld the complaint under Section 2.7 of the Code.
The advertising should not be used in the same format again.