Welsh Bus Company Rethinks Sexy Ad

Welsh bus adAre people just too sensitive, or did this Welsh bus company cross a line with its ad? The picture of a naked woman with a provocative line was created for a Cardiff, Wales, company promoting its cross-city service.

A representative for the Advertising Standards Agency reported 45 complaints and told Business Insider, "We've received complaints about this ad, but we understand that the advertiser will be taking it down within the next 24 hours and has removed its accompanying tweet in response to the concerns it's received. We'll continue to monitor the situation in case further action is needed."

On Twitter, New Adventure Travel promised to take down the ads: 

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.

Discussion Starters: 

  • What's your view? Is this just a catchy ad and people are too sensitive? Or is the ad potentially offensive?
  • What, if any, cultural differences are at play? How do you think this would be received in the United States?
  • How do we decide what "crosses a line"? What criteria do you use to form your opinion? 
  • Did New Adventure Travel do and say the right thing?