Thursday, 8 July 2010

Hunky Dory

It's often claimed that I'm a little behind the times, and the fact that I appear to have missed the below story appears to verify such claims.

Not sure how I missed it, but back in April an advertising campaign in Ireland for "Hunky Dorys" crisps (no, I'd never heard of them either) caused something of a furore when it featured young ladies in low-cut tops using straplines such as “Are you staring at my crisps?”

The ads appear to have induced a mass failure in the Irish sense of humour with phrases like “blatant exploitation of women,” “tasteless and base" and "quite simply unacceptable” liberally bandied about.

The Advertising Authority for Ireland, having received over a dozen (!!) complaints, chose to impose an interim ban on the ads, a ban that was confirmed as permanent yesterday.

The powers that be at the Irish Rugby Football Union also got a little hot under the collar given that the ads also featured a reference to the crisps as a “proud sponsor of Irish rugby”. (It turns out that Largo Foods, who manufacture Hunky Dorys, actually sponsor the Navan rugby team!)

And the result of the campaign? Undoubted joy in the Largo Foods boardroom with Hunky Dorys sales by up by 17%. As their CEO said back in April, "we want to inject a little bit of fun into things."



John Birch said...

I would not be so generous.

First I'd like to bet that if some company produced a campaign claiming to be the "Proud Sponsor of English Rugby" on the back of a few quid sent to their local club they'd be in the receipt of several writs from RFU, not mild complaints to the ASA.

Secondly if you are trying to sell rugby (or sport in general) as a serious activity for girls and women this doesn't actually help much.

But, as you suggest, I'd like to bet that it was designed to create controversy - they certainly got more coverage as a result than they could ever have bought!

Total Flanker said...

I'm not so sure that controversy was the intention - just a very satisfactory result for the company. I agree with your second paragraph in principle but I do think that people should lighten up a little and see the funny side...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. As a woman rugby player I don't see the humour in the ad. We work hard, train hard and play hard. It's hard enough as a woman to get taken seriously as a rugby player and that ad certainly doesn't help matters much.