German ministry under flame over ‘sexist’ bike safety ad

Demands to halt campaign featuring model wearing a helmet and merely underwear

An advertising campaign by Germany’s transport ministry to persuade cyclists to wear helmets has sparked accusations of sexism, as it features a model wearing just a helmet and underwear.

With the motto:” Seems like shit. But saves my life ,” the advert features a profile-shot of Alicija Kohler , a challenger in the gameshow Germany’s Next Topmodel, sporting a violet coloured helmet and a lacy bra.

But the advert, which is due to be plastered on billboards from Tuesday, operated smack into criticism, with the women’s wing of junior coalition partners the SPD demanding it be halted.

” It is embarrassing, stupid and sexist for the transport minister to be selling his policies utilizing naked scalp ,” Maria Noichl, chairwoman of the wing, told the country’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

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The family minister, Franziska Giffey, also hit out at the transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, of the conservative CSU party.

Posting a photo of herself dressed in a business attire with her bicycle on Facebook, she wrote:” Dear Andreas Scheuer: fully garmented also goes well with a helmet !”

Defending the advert, a transport ministry spokesman said:” A successful road safety campaign should jolt people and can be polarising .”

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