The team behind controversial new product the ‘Ladyball’ are so far ignoring increasing speculation that their product is in fact a clever marketing campaign for something else entirely.
There was an outraged reaction to the product when its ad was released on YouTube yesterday, with commentators stunned by the wording and imagery used.
Today publicity has extended to a nationwide marketing campaign, including ads in many newspapers.
Adding to the controversy, Dublin GAA star Ger Brennan appears to endorse the product, giving an interview about it on the product website.
“I think it’s a well known fact that women play differently and have different abilities and a different skill set,” Brennan is reported as saying. “This is a fact that should be celebrated and I think the Ladyball does just that, it aims to enhance the way women naturally play.
“There’s nothing wrong with playing like a girl.”
However, Brennan has not given interviews about the product, and efforts by Breakingnews to reach him for a comment have so far been unsuccessful
The team at Ladyball have declined requests for a phone interview and when we asked for samples we were told: “It's a concept and we had some basic prototypes done for the pics.
“As soon as we have samples I would love to send some on to you.”
So, is the Ladyball a clever gimmick to get people’s attention for some other announcement or campaign?
The Women’s Gaelic Players Association certainly hope so. When we contacted them for their take on the product they said they preferred not to comment as they believe it’s a social campaign designed to provoke a reaction.
They are not the only ones convinced there is more to this than meets the eye.
"Play like the lady you are" - #LadyBall ad has to be a front for some big news in women's sport. No way any sane person would create this— James Brophy (@JBrophy2705) January 14, 2016
A signed copy of Seedless in Seattle for the first person to send me a mocked-up photo of the England rugby team training with the Ladyball.— Schmidt Happens (@RossOCK) January 14, 2016
Let us know what you think in the poll - genuine product or prank?