AN ADVERT by Germany’s transport ministry featuring a model wearing just a helmet and underwear has sparked outrage and accusations of sexism.

The campaign, which encourages younger cyclists to wear helmets, includes the slogan: “Looks like s***. But saves my life.”

 The cycle helmet safety campaign featuring scantily clad models has sparked a sexism storm in Germany
The cycle helmet safety campaign featuring scantily clad models has sparked a sexism storm in Germany

Street posters showing the models are set to be put up throughout Germany from Tuesday.

But there have been calls to scrap the €400,000 campaign following claims it was sexist.

Maria Noichl, an MEP and the chairwoman of Germany’s Social Democrats women’s wing, told Bild am Sonntag: “It is embarrassing, stupid and sexist for the transport minister [Andreas Scheuer] to be selling his policies using naked skin”.

The family minister, Franziska Giffey, posted a picture of herself dressed in a buisness suit with her bicycle on Facebook and wrote: “Dear Andreas Scheuer: fully dressed also goes well with a helmet!”

Katja Mast, a senior MP, added: “Half-naked women and men should not be emblazoned with taxpayers’ money on billboards.”

She described the campaign as “embarrassing, stale and sexist”.

‘EMBARRASSING, STUPID AND SEXIST’

Under the pictures is a social media hashtag, #Helmerettenleben, meaning “helmets save lives”.

The pictures were taken by Rankin, the British fashion and portrait photographer.

Defending the campaign, Matthias Hauer, a Christian Democrat MP, pointed out how “there are also men in the campaign”.

The campaign features Alicija, a hopeful in Germany’s Next Top Model, as well as a number of male models.

He tweeted: “Good that #Helmerettenleben gets media attention — even if the SPD — the ‘Square Party Deutschland’ — has something against it.”

A transport ministry spokesman said: “A successful road safety campaign should jolt people and can be polarising.”

 The safe cycling campaign features scantily clad models
The safe cycling campaign features scantily clad models
 The controversial campaign is an attempt by the German transport ministry to get younger cyclists to embrace head protection
The controversial campaign is an attempt by the German transport ministry to get younger cyclists to embrace head protection
 The campaign features Alicija, a hopeful in Germany's Next Top Model
The campaign features Alicija, a hopeful in Germany’s Next Top Model
 Those defending the campaign pointed out how male models also featured
Those defending the campaign pointed out how male models also featured
 Minister for the Family Franziska Giffey, a Social Democrat, posted a picture of herself on Facebook with the comment "With helmet and clothed"
Minister for the Family Franziska Giffey, a Social Democrat, posted a picture of herself on Facebook with the comment “With helmet and clothed”


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