Marie Stopes advertise vasectomies on beer mats in Dublin pubs. Should I laugh or cry?

Blimey, I’m out of touch with what’s happening in Ireland. Or maybe I’m just out of touch. Marie Stopes have started an advertising campaign in Dublin pubs – advertising vasectomies on beer mats.
I thought it was a joke – it sounded so vulgar. So, the marketing idea is that the next time some Dubliners go for a pint, they will see Marie Stopes vasectomies advertised under the glass.
What I would like to know is that what pub or any respectable business advertises medical procedures on their counters and tables? It shows that they don’t really respect their customers; why else would they flagrantly put adverts for a contentious medical operation under their noses? It’s a very sensitive, private topic. Perhaps the Dublin pubs will have the good sense not to use these beer mats – they risk making the atmosphere in the pub uncomfortable. And this would be especially true for Irish pubs. In Ireland such topics remain acutely controversial.
I haven’t been able to find any pictures of these beer-mat-adverts. But I’m thinking of calling a few of the well-known Dublin pubs and asking them if and why they are stocking these beer mats.


  1. Let's hope that they've misread the market and wasted their money - as much as possible.

  2. Yes I am of an age to be able shrug it off, if there was one under my beer - still not what I want to see when enjoying a swift half.
    However, if I went into a pub/restaurant with my young children, that type of thing is the last thing I would want to see.

  3. True - it is very unfair on unsuspecting parents who take children into pubs where these beer mats will confront the kids. Marie Stopes would actually think this a positive thing - the more informal sex ed the better as far as they are concerned. Never mind what honourable, decent parents wish their children to see.

  4. In the student calendars handed out for free to all the students at the University of Helsinki (Finland) at the beginning of each academic year, there have regularly been advertisements seeking to recruit young male students as sperm donors! ("Are you between 18 and 35, healthy and ready to selflessly give the gift of life?" etc.) Unfortunately I was too shy to formally complain to anybody responsible for this; I just silently ripped out the adds from my own calendar and threw them away in 2010 and 2011... But now that I'm Catholic, I will most definitely complain if they do that again! Someone else obviously said something last year, because in the calendar of 2012/2013 there are no such adds, thank God.

    And the University Cafeteria company ("HYY Unicafe") hosts a so-called "Sambia Day" a few times a year (you can google it in English), where they lure students into donating to some fishy project about "reproductive freedom" and "reproductive rights". Last time they did it I wrote them and asked if it was about abortion, which they kind of denied, but very fishily, and they never agreed to explain in detail what, if not abortion, they meant by those foggy expressions... That means I have to eat elsewhere at least for the time they host this event, just in case.

    Well, anyway, greetings from Finland from a new reader (also a "Traddie", recently converted), and thank you for sharing your fabulous blog with the world! :) God bless you.


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