29 Mar 2019

Lingerie modeling for cycle safety ad sparks controversy

The German transport ministry’s attempt to encourage bicycle safety has backfired.

Victoria Wystepek
Victoria Wystepek NewsMavens, Europe
Lingerie modeling for cycle safety ad sparks controversy - NewsMavens
Ad campaign, www.bmvi.de

Why this story matters:

The transport ministry has launched a new ad campaign to encourage young cyclists to wear helmets. The ad features a female model dressed in lingerie and wearing a bicycle helmet. Maria Noichl of the women’s committee of the Social Democratic Party was not pleased with the ad. She stated,

“[It's] embarrassing, stupid and sexist when the transport minister markets his policy with naked flesh.”

Franziska Giffey, Minister for the Family, posted an amusing response: a photo of herself wearing a helmet on a bicycle with the caption, “With helmet and clothed.” 

Source: www.bmvi.de

Transport minister Andreas Scheuer defended the ad because of its high number of views among the target demographic: young men and women who don’t wear helmets due to esthetic reasons. The ministry has reported that the video ad has already been viewed by 1.78 million people aged between 14 and 49.

Details from the story:

  • Germany’s Road Safety Association data revealed that only 8% of people aged 14-49 wear helmets. 
  • Last year, 430 cyclists were killed on German streets.
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