Model images cause widespread backlash
New Zealand based clothing company Canterbury has issued an apology after being slammed for using models to launch the new Ireland women's rugby jersey.
The new jerseys for both the men's and women's teams were displayed online, but fans were quick to pick up the glaring difference in the images.
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Members of the men's team were showcased wearing the new threads while the women's jersey was shown off on models instead of players.
Florence Williams, a rugby player for the Wasps Ladies, tweeted out the images side-by-side and slammed the decision not to have women's players modelling the new jerseys.
"Spot the difference: 2 jersey launches, 3 models, 3 international players, 3 profiles lifted, 1 HUGE opportunity missed," Williams wrote.
"By not using the female players to market THEIR OWN KIT an opportunity to build recognition, fan bases & creating role models for future generations is lost.
"A nameless face in the jersey does nothing to represent the women who will be wearing it. Brilliant to inspire the future Robbie Henshaw's and Connor Murray's, but when visibility for the women's game is so key, this is a missed opportunity & thoughtless marketing."
Canterbury were quick to respond to the backlash received from the images as they issued an apology for the "error".
"As a brand, we believe in putting our hands up if we get something wrong," the company's statement read.
"To announce that our new Ireland Women's pro jersey was available for pre-order, we super-imposed the jersey's image onto a model to share this exciting development with our dedicated female players and fans.
"It was always, and remains, our intention to photograph female players in the new jersey and we remain committed to supporting the talented women in our rugby community on and off the field.
"While the image was primarily designed for our website, which also features male models, it has understandably caused frustration. We accept this was an error and apologise for any upset caused.
"At Canterbury we believe that rugby is for everyone and we're united by our mutual love of the game. We look forward to sharing our 'A New Horizon' campaign to support the launch of our Ireland Women's Pro jersey in October, with the same commitment and dedication that we have for all our teams."
Originally published as Model images cause widespread backlash