By Harry Webster
BBC Wales were last week forced to drop a new advert for the gargantuan Six Nations clash between Wales and England, after the ad’s content sparked a riled backlash from rugby fans.
The advert, which features Welsh rugby fans drawing a blank when questioned, “What’s good about England?” was met by staunch opposition on Twitter, immediately after being posted on various BBC social media accounts.
However, the ad, which was understood to be part of a much wider Six Nations advertising campaign, has since been removed from all of the Beeb’s social media accounts, while other media displaying the trailer have also been asked to remove the divisive ad.
Welsh actor, Kai Owen, led condemnation for the trailer, with the Torchwood star writing on Twitter, “Absolutely shocking advert. Hold your heads in shame.”
More disdain for the ad was shared by those who had previously work the organization, with one former BBC Wales worker writing on Twitter, “Whose idea was this? Beyond embarrassing, and as an English person living in Wales who has worked for BBC Wales, offensive.”
This is not however the first time the BBC has been forced to pull a controversial ad from the air in such circumstances, after a trailer that leaked online for the 2012 fixture was again met by anger from English fans.
The trailer saw fans from all five other participating nations – France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales – chanting “England”, with the tag “The Six Nations. It’s not about who you want to win…it’s about who you want to lose.”
Wales and England are the odds on favourites to win this year’s competition, and the two have struck up a vicious rivalry in recent years, with England beating Wales in 2016, and going on to take the Grand Slam.
Wales did however record a monumental victory over the English in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, beating them 28-25 at Twickenham, and going on to reach the competition’s quarter-final stage.