First Group bans naked ads from its Bradford bus fleet

A Yorkshire-based kitchen company has been forced to pull an advertising campaign featuring workers in a state of undress, after a bus company refused to run the ads for fear of upsetting the local Muslim population.

The posters, created by Bradford agency CMS, were taken from a “nude” calendar put out by the client, Atkinson’s Kitchens, to raise money for victims of the Asian tsunami. The calendar featured Atkinson’s workers in a state of undress, their modesty preserved by strategically placed tools and pieces of wood.

Three of the images were turned into ads – with the tagline “We literally can’t take any more off” – that ran in the local press and on billboards. CMS approached the Advertising Standards Authority, which approved the images for use.

But bus company First Group has refused to run two of the ads, and CMS was forced to pull the campaign from the buses. In an e-mail sent to the agency, First Group says: “Nakedness is unacceptable within the Muslim religion and [therefore] these ads would not be appropriate.”

In a later statement, the company adds that the ads contravene the guidelines of Viacom Outdoor, the transport media sales company that handles First Group’s advertising.

Local radio station Pulse has also had an ad for its breakfast show, featuring a nude picture of the presenters, banned by First Group.

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