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Football Association pulls anti-homophobia ad

The English Football Association was set to release an anti-homophobia ad tomorrow, but the FA has decided not to release the ad in a last-minute reversal. The ad, created by Ogilvy, "shows a man taunting, a newspaper seller, a fellow commuter on the tube and work colleagues with anti-gay language, accompanied by the caption, 'This behaviour is unacceptable here,'" according to UTalk Marketing. Ogilvy released the ad on YouTube but quickly made the video "private" so the public could not see it.

Some gays felt the ad itself was homophobic, showing the horrors of anti-gay verbal and physical assaults. John Amaechi used the words "vulgar and horrific" to describe the ad. I haven't seen the ad, but I suppose if you show how vulgar and horrific anti-gay abuse is, it's going to look, well, vulgar and horrific.

The FA had been working with Ogilvy and a couple gay organizations to produce the ad. Part of the problem seems to be that there was lots of homophobia, and not enough soccer, in the ad. At least one gay activist wasn't thrilled with the final product and points the finger at the FA.

"I always wanted an MTV-style video, with an appealing, uplifting, positive message, featuring top players and a good music track. Sadly, the FA never seriously attempted to get top players to participate," said Peter Tatchell of OutRage.

Tatchell also says the FA is dropping the ball on its commitment to fight homophobia in soccer.

"This last-minute cancellation is a big disappointment. It has thrown the Football Association's commitment to tackling homophobia into disarray," said OutRage campaigner Peter Tatchell.

"Contrary to what the FA is now saying, the video and strategy was agreed nearly two years ago. This postponement comes on top of the FA's dissolution of the broad-based Tackling Homophobia Working Group," he added.