Ad watchdog rules against horse racing ad with slogan ‘Treat a woman like a race horse and she’ll never be a nag’

Quilly ParkA print ad for horse racing venue Quilly Park has fallen foul of the ad watchdog over the slogan “Treat a woman like a race horse and she’ll never be a nag”, with the Ad Standards Board (ASB) ruling it was discriminatory to women.

A complaint to the ASB suggested the the ad was sexist and disgraceful.

“It is sexist and offensive to women. The country race meeting is a family event and a significant number of jockeys were women – making the offensive advertisement even more disgraceful.”

Quilly Park defended the ad arguing it was “more directed at the male audience” as males predominantly own Thoroughbreds.

In reference to the complaint citing female jockeys, the Park said: “Quilly Park has only had female jockeys ride our horses this season.”

They continued by saying: “Public issues such as family violence and the recent issue in the mounting yard @Flemington, we thought a play on words in the environment we are targeting might create a laugh. And a discussion.

“It was is no way meant to offend anyone,” they added.

In its ruling, the Board noted the literal interpretation of the ad’s slogan was “that racehorses are treated well and if you treat a woman well she’ll never be like a useless horse”.

While the board acknowledged some might interpret the ad as if you treat a woman well, like a valuable racehorse, she won’t be unpleasant. It was the board’s view that this was not discriminatory despite being tasteless.

However as the Park said the ad was targeted at men, the board considered it further enforced the negative meaning of the ad and it was the board’s view that it did depict material which discriminates against or vilifies a person on account of their gender.

The complaint was upheld.

In response to the ruling the company removed the text from the rear of its horse floats and pulled the creative.

While they apologised for the inconvenience they also said “Personally believe this has been taken out of context”.

Miranda Ward 


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