Woman named Gay complains about 'insulting' Rainbow Youth ad

A woman who felt "insulted" by a Rainbow Youth ad's use of the word 'gay' has had her protests rebuffed.

Gay Fairweather complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in October, insisting that she - and other women named Gay - had been left "insulted" by a slogan used by the LGBT advocacy group in the commercial.

The ad's slogan is "If it's not gay, its not gay" - a mantra aimed at shutting down use of the word 'gay' except when referring to homosexuality.

But Ms Fairweather was clearly incensed by the ad and said it was "unacceptable" that she had to suffer through its effects.

"I'm 57 & my name is Gay - spelt Gay, no 'e' after the 'y' - and its meaning is happy and I'm heterosexual," she wrote in her complaint

"I am deeply insulted with the slogan, as I feel it's saying, unless I'm a lesbian, I'm not me. I have never been offended or insulted that my name is Gay. There have been the looks and laughter, which I'm fine with.

"I've accepted that I've had to change the spelling of my name for emails and other software that requires my name.

"I am not fine with a slogan saying I am not me, because I'm not a lesbian. I feel the slogan is insulting to all the females whose name is Gay and is unacceptable (sic)."

According to the ASA, the complaint had no grounds to proceed as the commercial had not breached any part of its code of ethics.

The ASA complaints board chair explained that, while she "acknowledged the offence the advertisement had caused the complainant", it was unlikely to cause "serious and widespread offence to most people".

The commercial has been widely celebrated since its release in early October, with campaign writer Lizzie Baird explaining to The Project last month that it has gone international.

"We thought it would do well in New Zealand, but we weren't really expecting it to do so well in Australia," she said.

"Even in the rest of the world, it's starting to pick up... we've noticed people posting it in Germany and the UK."