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Ladyball creators come clean after controversial ad campaign goes viral

Lidl and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association teamed up to promote issues in women’s game.

WELL, THAT SETTLES that.

After a marketing campaign that went viral on mainstream and social media this week — fascinating, enraging and bemusing many — the Ladyball puzzle has been solved.

German supermarket chain Lidl has taken responsibility for the advertisement campaign, coming clean with this video.

Source: LidlIreland/YouTube

The pink ball was marketed as a “a soft touch for a woman’s grip” and designed for “a lady’s game”, leading many to voice their disgust at the campaign’s “sexist language”.

Many suspected it was just a false marketing campaign to boost a business announcement and it proved exactly that, but its other goal was also successful — to get people talking about women’s sport.

The campaign was also promoting a new partnership between Lidl and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA). The supermarket chain will become the official retail partner of the LGFA and title sponsors of the Ladies National Football League. The business has also committed to supporting the game at a grass-roots level.

The marketing campaign for the fabricated product was designed by Lidl, with the support of the LGFA, to put the spotlight on women in sport in Ireland and raise awareness of the difficulties female athletes have in getting the same recognition as their male counterparts.

Former All-Ireland winning Dublin footballer Ger Brennan, who retired from the inter-county game last year, supported the project and agreed to participate as a Ladyball spokesman.

LGFA president Marie Hickey said that the business partnership will bring much-needed funds into the ladies game. And she hopes the marketing campaign will help fuel an increase in support levels from the public.

“This is a very significant announcement for our sport and one that will see a huge investment in the game from a major brand,” she said.

“We hope to see everyone who spoke so passionately, when defending women in this debate, will channel that same energy into pitch-side support during the coming season.”

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Alan Waldron

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