A recruitment company’s plan to use sexy models in bikinis as part of an advertising campaign aimed at attracting truckers has been criticised by the RHA’s head of media and communications.
The advertising campaign is only an idea at present, and the billboards themselves haven’t even been displayed yet. However, the BWN Driver Management Group’s intentions have already drawn criticism from the RHA and attracted media attention.
Kate Gibbs, head of media and communications for the Road Haulage Association, told the Ipswich Star that she thought the idea was outdated and simply wouldn’t work:
I am at a loss as to understand why, or indeed how, the person who has come up with this idea thinks this will help recruit truck drivers. The days of ‘page three attraction’ are past. Yes, there is a massive, nationwide driver shortage at the moment, exacerbated both by Brexit and Covid-19. But it’s unlikely that these bikinied ladies are sufficiently knowledgeable about the industry to give career advice and information. The RHA is doing all it possibly can to highlight the issue with government to make more funding available to educate and train women as well as men. We are already working hard to attract women into the industry – this social stereotyping will only act as a deterrent. We need solutions, not gimmicks.
Penta GB transport manager Caron Craft went even further with her comments, branding the concept of the campaign “embarrassing”, “sexist” and “totally inappropriate”.
Adam Giles, who runs the BWN Driver Management Group, has reportedly admitted the idea for the campaign is sexist. According to the Ipswich Star, Giles said the ads would be “tongue in cheek” and “stand out from the crowd a little bit”.
He then went on to say the idea of using the models is simply to attract the eye of drivers:
I’m not interested in fighting the sexism battle, I’m just interested in covering my workload is the truth of it. I’m not getting into the politics of anything at all. It is as clear cut as a driver is driving down the road, how do you quickly get his attention? It is what is. As far as I can see sex is a tool to be used. People use sex to sell every day, every advert.
Photo credit: pxhere.com (Image is illustrative and is not part of the campaign mentioned in the article)