Ads for sex toys taken off the ice at Olympic last-ditch curling qualifiers


Ads for a sex toy website that led to a US blackout of an Olympic curling qualifying tournament will be removed from the ice and replaced with the “#equalityforall” statement.

Erotic website EasyToys and the World Curling Federation said on Friday they had reached a deal to return the live broadcast to the United States and Japan, where broadcasters decided the references to the company were too daring for the curling public. The event in the Netherlands will determine the last remaining places in the Beijing 2022 curling pitches.

“In an Olympic qualifying tournament, of course, that has to be about the sport and not the sponsor,” said Eric Idema, CEO of EasyToys’ parent company, EDC, in an emailed statement. ‘Associated Press and translated from Dutch. “Curling deserves it too, as a sport which is one of the few mixed sports that is way ahead of its time. In fact, so are we.”

The tournament began on Sunday with mixed doubles, but US fans were unable to watch their local live broadcast due to what the World Curling Federation said was “a permanent sponsor rights issue.” Still available, an international live broadcast where viewers could see the EasyToys Safe-for-Work logo on the ice and in advertisements surrounding the rink; the company name was also inscribed in the hog line which determines where curlers should drop the stone.

“We hoped that our visibility would help to break the taboo that still rests in many countries both on sexuality and on our industry,” Idema said. “It is unfortunate that adjustments are now needed to make the sport accessible to fans.”

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According to the company, when the tournament resumes on Saturday, “nearly all” EasyToys logos – which depict a pair of hearts nestled in the company name – will be removed from inside and around the rink. It will remain on a sheet and the pig lines will remain “EasyToys pink”.

Instead, the ice cream will feature the hashtag calling for equality.

“With this slogan, we always want to start the conversation about sexual well-being and the importance of having safe and enjoyable sex for everyone,” Idema said. “In many countries this conversation is already well underway, but the boycott confirms to us that we must continue to work on this topic to standardize it for a wider audience.”

The event in Leeuwarden, around 90 minutes north of Amsterdam, is a last-ditch qualifier that will send two mixed doubles teams and three each in men’s and women’s to Beijing in February. The United States and Australia qualified in mixed doubles; there is no American team in the other divisions because the Americans had already qualified for the Winter Games.

“EasyToys and the World Curling Federation have entered into a good faith sponsorship contract for this event, based on the shared values ​​of equality and respect for all,” the international governing body said in a statement.

“Legal guidelines as well as social norms influencing broadcaster policies in some parts of the world have proven to be a complicated obstacle to the presentation of this championship,” WCF said. “This step was taken to avoid any further distraction for our athletes as they seek to fulfill their dreams of reaching the pinnacle of our sport.”

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