CARDIFF, Wales, May 11 (UPI) -- A Welsh bus company said it is pulling ads featuring scantily-clad models holding signs reading, "ride me all day for £3," after a wave of social media criticism.
New Adventure Travel, based on Cardiff, said the ads featuring models -- several of them wearing nothing on their upper torsos other than the signs -- was designed to "make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation."
However, the ads reading, "ride me all day for £3" -- the $4.68 price of bus fare -- were widely decried as sexist on social media.
"I guess you could use the 'it's just a laugh' argument, but in 2015 does a bus journey really need to be sexualized to market itself?" asked Hannah Johnson, part of the team behind the local We Are Cardiff blog.
The company's featuring of a male model in one version of the ad did not ward off the critics.
"The slogan of 'ride me all day for £3' whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offense to either men or women and, if the advert has done so, then we apologize unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify either men or women," the company said in a statement. "Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next 24 hours."