A “creepy” advert that suggests someone on a bus “loves being naked” is to be pulled, following a social media backlash over the campaign for the new series of the Kanaal 4 show Naked Attraction
Transport for Londen said it would remove the advertising campaign from the side of double-deckers after members of the public voiced concern on social media that it could put passengers, including children, at the risk of sexual assault.
The campaign features a black poster with white arrows pointing at passengers seated in the top deck of London buses, indicating that one passenger “loves Naked Attraction”, one “hates Naked Attraction” and a third “loves being naked”, in reference to the popular Channel 4 and Global media group dating series in which people choose a prospective partner after viewing their naked body parts.
The most prominent criticisms have been levelled at the campaign featured on London buses after writer and marketing professional Tracy King condemned the posters as “non-consensual” and “creepy” on Twitter. She wrote: “Passengers shouldn’t have to navigate ‘am I the butt of a joke on my way to work today.’”
Egter, it is understood that the banners have also been placed in other towns, met Reading Buses stating on Twitter that they are in the process of removing them from their fleet.
The Advertising Standards Agency said it had received 26 complaints about the ad arguing that it “sexualises members of the public and does so without their consent”. Some complainants objected that it encourages and makes light of sexual assaults which take place on public transport, an ASA spokesperson added.
ASA is currently assessing the complaints. If the ad is determined to be in breach of its rules, sanctions will be implemented, starting with removal of the ads from circulation and potentially resulting in statutory action from Trading Standards or the Competition and Markets Authority.
A TfL spokesperson said: “We work tirelessly to ensure public transport is a safe environment for everyone, and any report of sexual assault or inappropriate behaviour is investigated and treated extremely seriously.
“We have reviewed the ad campaign and decided that it should not continue to run on our bus network. It will be removed as soon as practicable.”
A YouGov poll published at the beginning of 2020 indicated that more than half of women using public transport in London had been sexually harassed.