A freshly launched South Wales bus company managed to disenfranchise and alienate a large chunk of their customer base with some truly dreadful sexist advertising.
Seen plastered on the rear of the new bus service run by New Adventure Travel Ltd, a “hire and land transport solutions provider,” was a picture of a semi naked woman holding a banner with the caption, “Ride me all day for £3.”
At first I assumed that the image was a Photoshop mock up, but it was posted today on the company’s official Twitter page – and, unsurprisingly, Cardiff citizens were quick to take to Twitter to voice their disapproval.
Update: the company has hastily deleted the post, and issued this apology:
In view of the reaction to our bus advertising today we wish to set out our position:
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.
Some of the responses reveal what a PR disaster the advertising campaign has been for the company:
— We Are (staying local in) Cardiff (@WeAreCardiff) May 11, 2015