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article image'Ride me all day for £3' ads with topless models sparks outrage

By Megan Hamilton     May 12, 2015 in Odd News
Cardiff - The New Adventure Travel Group wanted to attract attention from the "younger generation," so the company placed ads featuring sexy, topless models — men and women — on the back of its buses.
It got attention all right, but almost certainly not the kind company executives were hoping for, Mashable reports.
The advertisements prompted fury in the city and a blizzard of comments on the social media, according to The Guardian.
Here's a sample, courtesy of Mashable:
Tights Won't Stay Up —
"Dear @NAT_Group #cardiff Why have you employed a hugely sexist ad that alludes to prostitution on your buses? Am sure you've a great reason.
Jess Day —
"@NAT_Group Seriously, who do you expect to travel on these buses? Are they a stag party express, no other passengers welcome? @WeAreCardiff."
One member of Parliament also had something to say:
Steven Doughty —
"Just spoke to MD @NAT_Group to express disgust at adverts - he tells me it's a "misjudgement" + will scrap within the hour #everydaysexism."
Even singer Charlotte Church got involved:
"Hey @NAT_Group THIS IS ABHORRENT! You should remove these hugely offensive ads ASAP...Please complain and retweet."
The travel company, which operates in Cardiff and several other places in Wales, and includes school buses, was promoting the launch of a fleet of new buses for citywide service in Cardiff, but after the maelstrom of messages, the company announced at 11:30 a.m. on Monday that it would pull the ads--mere hours after they had appeared, the Guardian reports.
Hana Johnson, who is one of several people who run the local blog We Are Cardiff, was stuck behind one of the buses on her daily commute.
"I got stuck behind one of these buses in Canton at 8:45 this morning," she told the Guardian. "With our following of 30,000 people, we try not to use We Are Cardiff to express opinions, but I felt like we had an obligation to the women and men of Cardiff to call this company out on the commodification of a woman's body, and the trivialization of prostitution.
They tweeted their outrage:
"@NAT_Group just saw this advert on a bus in Canton, and it's an absolutely unacceptable way of advertising a bus ticket @EverydaySexism."
"I guess you could use the 'it's just a laugh' argument, but in 2015 does a bus journey really need to be sexualized to market itself?
So the company issued a statement, CNN reports.
"Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation..." New Adventure Travel Group said in a statement, and also said:
"The slogan of 'ride me all day for £3' whilst being a little tongue-in-cheek was in no way intended to cause offense to either men or women , and if the advert has done so, we apologize 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 24 hours."
To which Tights Won't Stay Up replied:
"Gotta love social media. Thank you for listening @NAT_Group. Now don't do it again."
More about ride me all day for 3, Ads, Wales, New Adventure Travel Group, Cardiff
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