Ayr Utd strip promotion labelled ‘sexist’ and ‘soft porn’

Ayr United branded 'sexist' for using body-painted model to promote new strip.
Ayr United branded 'sexist' for using body-painted model to promote new strip.
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AYR United Football Club has been branded ‘sexist’ after launching their new kit with a body-painted topless female model.

The Scottish club has suffered severe criticism on social media for their promotion campaign, and the SFA is now considering whether any action should be taken against the team which won promotion to the Scottish Championship.

But Ayr’s sponsors, online betting company BoDog, is surprised by the reaction, claiming they have been launching the replica kits in the same way for the last five years.

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There was also no backlash when Inverness Caley Thistle used model and former Miss Inverness Ceilidh Watson to promote their new strip in 2008 in body paint.

Ava Sovisl is the latest model to pose for Ayr Utd.

Maureen McGonigle, founder of Scottish Women in Sport, said:”For a club trying to encourage the local community to support it, this is an own goal.

“They’re using tactics from the 1970s to sell strips.

“They’d be much better using positive images of a family to promote the kit. This is a dreadful piece of marketing.

“I appreciate the need to bring finance into a club, but I think Ayr should be having a conversation with their sponsors about the need to appeal to all sections of the community.”

Ayr will play in the second tier next season after beating Peterhead and Stranraer in the play-offs.

Lydia House of the Scots gender equality charity Zero Tolerance called for the promotion to be withdrawn.

She said: “The advert follows the common trend in advertising of using women’s bodies to sell products to a male audience. It’s not surprising, but it is disappointing, and we would urge them away from this decision.

“Football fans are more than capable of assessing the merits of a new football kit, without it having to be smeared in paint across a naked woman’s body. It talks down to them as consumers, suggesting they need titillation to sell products.”

Amy McDonald, head of youth at Glasgow City FC, said: “They have just advertised for a girls and women’s development officer for their growing academy. To do this is a backwards step.”

Scotland women’s captain Gemma Fay said: “Surely promotion to the SPFL Championship would be enough to market strip sales.”

Fifa executive committee member Moya Dodd described the kit launch as “soft porn” and branded it “atrocious”.

No one from the club was available to comment.

But Calvin Ayre, the Canadian owner of Ayr’s sponsor Bodog, defended the photographs, saying: “This is all a bit strange as we had body-painted models at the press launch of the deal five years ago and this is the fifth consecutive year we’ve done a similar photoshoot.

“So this ‘outraged of Glasgow’ reaction is, at best, bizarre.”

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“Nevertheless, I will make sure the marketing team get a damn good spanking, though I can’t guarantee they won’t enjoy it.”

In in promotion of the strip, he stated: “The Ayr United shirts are of a very high quality but it would be unfair to say they are materially superior to other teams’ kit.

“In fact, based on the latest photo shoot... it appears to me as if there may be some sizing issues with the first shirts to come off the rack.

“Also, it seems the colours may run if you get your hands wet.... So, you know, fair warning. And ‘Mon the Ayr!’ ”

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