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Topic of the day - IRFU and Hunky Dory Campaign

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

An advertising campaign for Hunky Dory crisps which features women in revealing tops playing rugby under straplines such as "Are you staring at my crisps?" and "Tackle these" has attracted a large number of complaints to the advertising watchdog since it was launched on Monday. The Irish Rugby Football Union has made contact, through its solicitors, with Largo Foods, the distributors of Hunky Dorys, and requested that they immediately withdraw the current advertising campaign, the strap line for which claims Hunky Dorys to be 'Proud Sponsors of Irish Rugby'.

The advertising campaign features billboard posters of women playing, whilst rugby wearing very little clothing. The billboards are accompanied by provocative slogans. Padraig Power, Commercial and Marketing Director, IRFU, stated: 'This advertising campaign is in very bad taste and one which the IRFU would not want to be associated with in any way.' Firstly, its blatant exploitation of women is tasteless and base, and quite simply unacceptable. Irish rugby has a strong family focus and would not tolerate any connection with such an approach. 'Secondly, the claim that the product is a 'Proud Sponsor of Irish Rugby' implies that the company is a significant sponsor of the game in this country, through the IRFU. This is absolutely untrue and a cynical ploy in an attempt to capitalise on the games popularity. 'By doing so it has the potential to undermine the legitimate claims of the many genuine sponsors and supporters of Irish rugby whose investment has been a key element in the success of rugby at grass roots level throughout the country, and of our provincial and national teams.

Raymond Coyle, the chief executive of Largo Foods, confirmed that the IRFU had no input into the advertisement. He said: 'The IRFU are absolutely right. They have nothing to do with it whatsoever. But we do sponsor Irish Rugby - we sponsor Navan Rugby Club. 'Our target was to bring humour and fun. These are dark times at the moment.


Joining us on the Afternoon Show today to discuss the advertisements is Terry Prone, from the Communications Clinic.. We are also joined by Ruth Kerrigan, Captain of the Navan Ladies Rugby Team.


For information on advertising standards within Ireland, you can go contact the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland, you can go to www.asai.ie/

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