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Anger at 'ride me' bus adverts

Published 11/05/2015

Buses displaying a NAT Group advert using a half-naked woman have been travelling around Cardiff
Buses displaying a NAT Group advert using a half-naked woman have been travelling around Cardiff

A storm of complaints has followed a bus company's decision to advertise its fares with pictures of half-naked male and female models and the words: "Ride me all day for £3."

New Adventure Travel (NAT), based in Cardiff, hoped the ads on the back of its new X1 service would be a talking point among city centre commuters.

But the ads have led to dozens of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), with others tweeting their distaste. NAT said the ads were being taken down.

One of those who complained to the ASA was Lisa Derrick. She tweeted: " Can't believe ad on your buses, NAT Group. Gross! Cardiff is way more progressive than you!"

Matt Navarra asked: " Which marketing muppet gave the thumbs up for this ad?"

A spokesman for the NAT Group said: "The slogan of 'ride me all day for £3', while 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."

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received 45 complaints about the advert.

An ASA spokesman said: "We understand the company is taking the advert down so at this stage we are monitoring the situation in case further action is needed."

The advert prompted mixed reactions among commuters on Westgate Street in Cardiff.

Mother-of-two Joanne Bell, 34, said she was disgusted by the images.

She said: "I don't want my kids seeing that kind of slogan. It's sexist and demeaning."

Pensioner Margaret Jones, 66, was also not impressed. She said: "It's too crude. It's not like it's on the telly, where you can change the channel. It's being driven all around the city centre."

University student Huw Daniels, 21, said: "It's like something you'd seen from the 1970s or a Carry On film."

S hop worker Adam Greaves, 42, said: "I thought it was well funny. It's not as bad as people are making out. Anyway, the ad has done its job. People are speaking about it."

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Whilst we are not responsible for the awarding of contracts for local bus services, we welcome the decision of NAT to withdraw these adverts."

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