British Bus Service Apologizes for ‘Ride Me’ Ad Campaign

Price gag sparked international backlash

Headshot of David Griner

A Welsh bus service's "Ride Me All Day for £3" ad campaign has come to an abrupt stop after facing vocal criticism in social media.

The ads, featured on the back of the service's buses, featured the tagline on a sign being held by a topless man or woman. 

After being posted to Reddit's "Funny" forum and shooting to the massively popular site's front page, an image of the ad campaign began making the rounds on Twitter and other social networks, as well. 

Today, the company said it would pull the ads. It issued the following apology on its website, as well:

In view of the reaction to our bus advertising today we wish to set out our position:

Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation.  We therefore developed an internal advertising campaign featuring males and females to hold boards to promote the cost of our daily tickets.

The slogan of 'ride me all day for £3' whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offence to either men or women and, if the advert has done so then we apologise unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify either men or women.

Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next twenty four hours.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."