TfL will remove a controversial ad for Channel 4’s Naked Attraction from its bus network after the ad was criticised on social media.
The ad, seen on the side of a London bus, includes three arrows pointing towards seats on the top deck of the bus. The captions underneath the arrows read: “Loves Naked Attraction”, “Hates Naked Attraction” and “Loves being naked”.
Writer Tracy King (@tkingdot) drew attention to the ad on Twitter, tweeting: “What the hell is this creepy bus ad? You can’t just label non-consenting passengers like that. Does @Channel4 not know how many sexual assaults take place on buses?”
Twitter users labelled the ad “poorly thought-out” and noted that children may sit in the seats to which the arrows pointed. Others pointed to the sexual harassment women often face on buses, with a YouGov poll reporting in 2020 that more than half of women in London have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport.
One user noted the ad was also seen in Edinburgh on a Lothian bus, but the company noted that its external advertising was handled by the Global media group.
The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received 26 complaints about the ad, the BBC reported.
A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “This ad is based on a Channel 4 entertainment programme. It was not our intention to cause offence and we apologise if it has done so.”
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.”
Naked Attraction is a show in which contestants choose a date based on their naked appearance, and at the end also strip down themselves.