A bus company in Wales is coming under fire for what may be one of the most sexist, and sexually suggestive ad campaigns ever.
According to Wales Online, New Adventure Travel Group (NAT), a bus company operating in Cardiff, Wales, UK, placed ads on their buses featuring a topless woman holding a sign which reads, “Ride me all day for £3.”
There is another version of the ad which features a topless man.
Reaction to the ad campaign was swift, and filled social media. The BBC reports that the bus company pulled the original ad from Twitter because of the negative responses. That makes this one of the shortest campaigns in advertising history. The Guardian says that NAT announced that it would remove the ads only a few hours after they first appeared.
The bus company created the ad campaign to celebrate the addition of ten new buses to a cross-city route in Cardiff. They say that they wanted to make riding the bus more attractive to the younger generation. Instead, they managed to anger almost everyone.
Among those who questioned the wisdom of the ad campaign were a couple of members of Parliament.
Newly elected MP Jo Stevens tweeted to the bus company to ask why they thought the ads were appropriate.
Even Welsh singer Charlotte Church weighed in.
Hana Johnson, who runs a blog called “We Are Cardiff,” tells The Guardian why she objects to the ads. She says:
I guess you could use the ‘it’s just a laugh’ argument, but in 2015 does a bus journey really need to be sexualised to market itself?
It didn’t take long for NAT to realize that the company had made a huge blunder. Wales Online reports that the company issued a statement, which reads, in part:
The slogan of ‘ride me all day for £3’ whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offence to either men or women and, if the advert has done so then we apologise unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify either men or women.
Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next twenty four hours.
Or, as former Texas Governor Rick Perry might have said, “Oops!”
Featured image: via Twitter