Article Title:Speight's cancel gay-joke billboard
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:4th December 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2152
Text:A Speight's beer billboard that made gay men the butt of its joke has been removed by Lion Breweries following complaints from the public. The billboard featured the two Southern men from the Speight's TV commercials, with one saying “Interesting part of town” and the other replying “Keep yer back to the billboard, boy”. Some took this to be a stereotypical reference to gay men as sexual predators, exacerbated by the fact that the billboard was displayed in the Ponsonby district of Auckland, and directly adjacent to a similarly offending Fagg's Coffee billboard in central Wellington. Lion Breweries Brands Director Doug Paulin reiterated to earlier statements that the advertisement was not intended to be taken in this manner, but will be removed from future rotations “because of feedback from people saying that they interpreted the billboard in a certain way”. Auckland University PhD student John Fenaughty, currently involved in a large research project studying unwanted sex between men, says he is pleased Speight's have recognised the offence taken from certain readings of the advertisement, and hopes that advertisers will think more carefully in future about potential negative stereotyping when devising ad campaigns.    
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