'Offensive' ads for Channel 4's Naked Attraction to be removed from Edinburgh buses

Lothian Buses are to remove controversial ads on the sides of their buses which include phrases like "Loves being naked" with arrows pointing to individual passengers.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 1:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 1:01 pm

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The adverts for Channel 4's dating game show Naked Attraction were branded “irresponsible”, “offensive” and “a disgrace”.

And they sparked a storm of protest on social media.

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The bus ads were promoting Channel 4's dating show Naked Attraction

Now the council-owned bus company says they will be removed “as soon as reasonably practical”.

The ads have three arrows pointing to passengers sitting in window seats with the captions “Loves Naked Attraction”, “Hates Naked and Attraction” and “Loves being naked”.

Initial social media posts criticising Lothian Buses brought the response: “ Thanks for your comments. External advertising on our vehicles is managed by our partners, Global - we've passed your comments on for their attention.”

In a statement online Zero Tolerance, which works to end violence against women, said: “Women are being sexually harassed on public transport every day. We are very disappointed to see this irresponsible and offensive ad. Please take it down.”

Naked Attraction: The popular Channel 4 dating show leaves little to the imagination.

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And former Edinburgh University rector Ann Henderson tweeted: “Hoping this advertising decision is under urgent review. From the city which pioneered the hard hitting @ZTScotland campaign in the 1990s, [email protected] adverts are a disgrace.”

Lothian Buses then replied to Ms Henderson: “Hello Ann, I can confirm that we’ve been in touch with our media partner, Global, and these advertisements will be removed as soon as reasonably practical. We appreciate your feedback - thanks for getting in touch.

Conservative councillor Jason Rust said: "While it’s 'clever' advertising in the sense of getting people talking about it, it does raise serious concerns about the type of advertising permitted on our publicly-owned public transport which is meant to be inclusive and family friendly and a safe environment.

"Given children travel by bus and the Council's mantra is now about 'travelling safely' I am surprised that this was sanctioned as appropriate."

The same adverts have appeared on buses elsewhere and prompted similar protests. Transport for London has also promised to remove them.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 26 complaints about the advert.

Channel 4 apologised if the ad had caused offence.

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