Complaints force pub to cancel 'Bag a Slag' Valentine's Day event

The poster for the alternative speed dating night was criticised for being offensive and derogatory to women

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The Independent Online

A pub has been forced to cancel its Valentine’s Day alternative speed dating event after complaints that it was inappropriate.

Posters for the “Bag a Slag, Grab a Hag” night at The Old Angel Inn in Nottingham caused controversy after several people complained about their offensive content.

Women attending were offered free shots and the posters also featured the slogan “Die Die Darling”, which critics said promoted violence against women.

The landlord was forced to cancel the event after the city council’s licensing department said the pub had breached conditions that it must not use inappropriate promotions.

Ruth Greenburg, from the Nottingham Feminist Action Network, said the poster was belittling and derogatory to women.

"This is beyond the fun barrier. It is a very negative, sexist image of women," she said.

"Is that all women are - slags and hags?

"What self-respecting woman is going to go along to a speed dating event that sells itself to men in that way?"

However, in a statement on its Facebook page, the pub defended its actions.

“Those people who drink in the pub, for whom the poster was intended, will appreciate the spirit of the flyer and will also have viewed it in good humour,” it said.

"Offence is something that is taken - you cannot dish out offence."

Poster designer and barmaid, Lydia Hunt, told the Nottingham Post she felt the poster was “empowering” to women.

“There are people who say the word slag is offensive, but I would say it’s empowering really to take it back.

“It’s all a bit of fun really, I didn’t mean to offend anyone with it.

“I’d call myself a feminist and just think that people need to take things a bit less seriously. It’s not meant to offend, it’s meant to promote a speed dating night.”

She said the free shots were an incentive for women to attend because research shows that speed dating is more popular among men.

On Twitter, two camps formed. One of those who tweeted their support was @Benjee94: “To whichever pub got in trouble for using the slogan "come bag a slag" for Valentine’s Day, I salute you sir.”

Meanwhile, @seantaylorpress said: "Disappointing news for those planning to attend the Valentine's Day 'Bag a Slag' event at this Nottingham boozer..."

However, others expressed their disgust, including @lauratosney, who tweeted: “Things I find more disturbing than 'bag a slag' part: the 'die die my darling' & 'free shots for women taking part'.”

And @Gail_McDade said: “This cannot be for real.”

A spokesman for Nottingham City Council's licensing department said they had investigated after receiving complaints about the poster.

"We felt this wasn't an appropriate promotion and as a result spoke to them and they eventually agreed and removed the posters and cancelled the event," he said.