Watch: The banned Six Nations advert that continues to be shared online
Back in 2012 the BBC sent a promotional trailer for its Six Nations rugby union coverage to the sin bin over fears that it was anti-English.
On first appearance the advert looked to show a number of supporters from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, supporting England.
A Welsh choir sing ‘England’ during a rehearsal. Youngsters from Ireland also scream out for England after a game of touch rugby.
However, it becomes clear they are being asked who they most want to beat. Unsurprisingly, those fans all choose England.
*This* is how you make a Six Nations promo. pic.twitter.com/91dDabTiIX
— Owen Williams 🏴 (@OwsWills) January 28, 2022
The trailer came to a close with the payoff line: ‘It’s not about who you want to win, but who you want to lose’.
The BBC said the concept was about fans being united in rivalry, but pulled it after complaints it was anti-English.
It was re-edited to give ‘more balance’ but ended up in the BBC archives never to be shown on TV again.
However, in 2014 the video was leaked online and continues to be shared every year around Six Nations time.
When the original advert remerged, the BBC said it was baffled how the controversial trailer had made a comeback.
A spokeswoman said at the time: ‘This trailer was part of our promotion for the Six nations in 2012.
‘The creative concept was around fans being united in rivalry.
‘We featured real fans from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in the trail all talking about who they wanted to beat.
‘The non-English fans interviewed for the trail all wanted to beat England which made the first cut of the trail slightly unbalanced.
‘We therefore changed the balance of the fans in the next edit to make the trail more representative.’
It’s not the first time English rugby has been targeted by a promotional trailer.
In 1999, Stereophonics memorably recorded the song ‘As long as we beat the English’ for a BBC Sport Wales promotion ahead of their clash with England at Wembley stadium.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.