Three removes billboard ad joking about man who is ‘actually a she’

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Mobile network Three Ireland has apologised for a billboard ad which was deemed transphobic.

The ad hit out at rival Vodafone’s data limit, claiming “Sorry Vodafone customers, It turned out he was a she after you’d used all your data.”

Trans people and allies  flooded the company’s Facebook with complaints, claiming: “It is a disgrace and mocks transgender people – and some of these people would be your customers.

“It is simply unacceptable to have a large corporation, who I would expect to have a strong sense of corporate social responsibility, to run ad campaigns that are seen to make light of a person’s sexuality or gender.”

Three Ireland initially refused to remove the campaign, calming in a statement: “Sorry if you feel this ad is offensive. That was not our intention.

“It’s part of a wider campaign that gives examples of when you can often miss the best bits of TV/films when you’re streaming because you’ve used all your data.

“Another example in the campaign is ‘Sorry Vodafone customers, Ireland scored the winning try after you’d used all your data’.

“Again, we’re sorry for any offence caused and hope this explains the concept and shows that no offence was intended at all.”

However, after the ad received media attention, the company decided to pull it entirely.

Three said: “We’ve reviewed the feedback & decided that the ad will be removed. It wasn’t our intention to cause offence, again we apologise.”

Three Ireland is a separate company to Three UK.