A bus company in Wales has been forced to drop a ‘disgusting’ advertising message showing topless people holding a sign saying: "Ride me all day for £3".
Launching a new intensive route in Cardiff in direct competition to council-owned Cardiff Bus, New Adventure Travel Ltd (NAT) emblazoned the advertising images on its vehicles and promoted them through Facebook and Twitter. The adverts also featured topless men and women in similar poses.
The advert from New Adventure Travel Ltd (NAT)
The company has since agreed to drop the advert. In a statement it 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 24 hours.'
On Facebook members of the Cardiff Feminist Network described the advert as ‘disgusting’ and a ‘terrible error of judgement’.
Lis Parsons wrote: ‘I'm speechless. It doesn't make me feel I'd be safe or respected on one of their buses. It's hugely insulting to all women, including sex workers.
‘The fact that she's obviously topless behind the sign she's holding. Did it not occur to the people behind this that women are people who use buses, we're not just objects to be ridiculed?’
The bus company, which provides services for Swansea City Football Club and the Cardiff Devils Hockey Club, was unavailable for comment.
Cardiff-based New Adventure Travel had acquired 10 new buses for its east-west cross-city X1 service, which will operate every 15 minutes throughout the day. NAT claims the service is designed to grow the market rather than undermine Cardiff Bus.