A bus company has prompted outrage by using an advert which shows topless models holding up signs saying ‘Ride me all day for £3’.
New Adventure Travel Ltd (NAT), based in Cardiff, excitedly took to Twitter this morning to promote the new provocative adverts which have been emblazoned across the back of ten new buses.
One advert shows a dark-haired woman posing in a sultry manner with the suggestive sign, while another shows the same sign being held by a topless male model.
But the campaign backfired when passengers condemned the company for being ‘unacceptable’ and ‘insulting’. Others accused the company of ‘promoting sexism and rape culture’.
Singer Charlotte Church even waded into the debate, saying the signs were ‘atrocious’.
Stephen Doughty, the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, said this morning that the company’s managing director would scrap the adverts ‘within the hour’ following the ‘misjudgment’.
But a spokesman for the company initially told MailOnline there was no one available to speak to the media.
NAT have now released a statement saying the adverts were intended to be a ‘tongue-in-cheek way’ of making bus-catching more attractive to the younger generation.
But the spokesman said they now apologised ‘unreservedly’ and would aim to remove all the material from the back of the buses within 24 hours in light of the ‘volume of negativity received’.
After the advert was posted online, members of the Cardiff Feminist Network described it as ‘disgusting’ and a ‘terrible error of judgement’.
Commuter Indianna Murphy said: ‘This advert is horrendous. Using a naked women and sexual innuendo to promote a bus service is disgraceful and seriously misguided.
While customer Marianne Rhiannon said that New Adventure Travel were ‘promoting sexism and rape culture’.
Dozens of people also tweeted their shock, with one saying the advert ‘alluded to prostitution’.
Critics also suggested they would be complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority about the poster.
The bus company, based in Cardiff Bay, have just launched a service which runs every 15 minutes in the Welsh capital.
New Adventure Travel said they were aiming to ‘make buses cool’ ahead of the launch of their new services yesterday.
Managing director Kevyn Jones had proudly boasted how his blue and white buses have leather seats and wood-effect floors.
On their website, the private company describes itself as ‘one of South Wales’ leading transport providers with over 75 vehicles and counting’.
The city centre company operates a fleet of 25 high quality coaches on a mixture of local contracts, UK and European private hire and holiday work, their website claims.
They also provide buses for Swansea City Football Club and the Cardiff Devils Hockey Club.
In a statement they said: ‘Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation.
‘We therefore developed an internal advertising campaign featuring males and females to hold boards to promote the cost of our daily tickets.
‘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.’