Trans used for ‘cheap laughs’ in Irish TV advert

Campaigners call for 'dehumanizing' Meteor cell phone advert to be banned

Trans used for ‘cheap laughs’ in Irish TV advert
16 October 2012

An Irish cell phone advert which mocks and ‘dehumanises’ transgender people has been reported to advertising watchdogs.

The 40-second TV spot explains how it’s no longer necessary to do silly things to get free internet on your Meteor mobile, listing going to a trans bar as an example.

But campaigners from the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) don’t see the funny side and are calling for the advert to be banned.

‘Ireland’s trans community should not be used for cheap laughs,’ said TENI director Broden Giambrone.

Giambrone added: ‘Trans people are among the most marginalised people in Ireland. They are Irish residents and taxpayers and are still not recognised by the state in their true gender. They are not accorded their basic human rights. 

‘Meteor’s ad makes fun of a vulnerable group of people and dehumanises them. It is unacceptable.’

TENI has lodged complaints with Meteor and the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland, as well as reporting the advert on YouTube.

It is currently being shown widely on satellite and terrestrial channels, including RTÉ One, which aired the ad during its main evening news yesterday evening (15 October). It is also being screened in cinemas and has appeared before the popular Pixar/Disney children’s film Brave.

Today (16 October), TENI is galvanizing people to speak out against the advert with a twitter campaign.

The #MeteorShame campaign features recent comments from trans people on how they feel about their representation in the media, taken from a recent Trans Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey which revealed 78% of trans people in Ireland had considered suicide and 40% of people had attempted suicide at least once.

Meteor has been contacted for a comment.

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