Sunday, October 21, 2012

A complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about Metor's transphobic ad.

So Meteor's new ad for free wifi, it is pretty transphobic, amirite? I have until I run out of credit to decide whether to switch networks, but since just no longer giving them custom without an explanation wouldn't feel terribly effective, I've submitted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.

(The Advertising Standards Authority make you fill in boxes with your details, I don't just lack the ability to write a formal letter. Here's what went in the "Your complaint" box.)

"Meteor's recent ad for free wifi shows individuals going to ridiculous lengths to obtain free wifi, such as cycling after a bus providing this service. Having established this premise, the ad goes on to show a teenage boy dancing in a bar with a woman while using his phone. The woman turns around, revealing a 'masculine' jawline and stubble. As soon as the boy learns of Meteor's free wifi, he runs from the bar.

This cheap joke is, at best, small-minded and bigoted - in a country where transgendered individuals must receive a formal diagnosis of mental illness in order to have their correct gender legally recognised, it may easily be actively harmful. Meteor have argued that the person the boy is dancing with is a male drag artist - however, the joke contained within the ad only makes sense if the audience has been 'tricked' into misidentifying the boy's dancing partner as a woman, relying on the idea that transgendered women are impostors, and not real women. 

As Meteor have failed to apologise for this ad, or even to acknowledge any wrong-doing on their part, I hope you will see fit to prohibit screening of the ad."

You can complain about the ad here.

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