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Monday, 28 October, 2002, 10:11 GMT
Motor Show advert 'pathetic and sexist'
The poster advertising the Motorshow
Organisers say a woman designed the advert
A Wonderbra-style advert for the Motor Show has been branded "old-fashioned rubbish" by Trade and Industry secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Posters for the Birmingham-based show feature a woman in a bra with the caption: "The other way to your man's heart is down the M6 and off at Junction 4."

Ms Hewitt, who was due to visit the show on Monday, told the BBC the posters were "pathetic" in an age when almost half of new cars were sold to women.

"It's a very out-of-date sexist advertisement which gives the impression that the only people who go to the Motor Show are men," she said.

Big mistake

Ms Hewitt said the posters would not help recruit women to the industry and it was a pity that the posters "reinforced old clichés rather than a more modern image."

Trade and Industry secretary Patricia Hewitt
Ms Hewitt said the adverts were a big mistake

She said: "If the industry are serious about getting more women in to work for them and getting more women training and qualifying as engineers then they do change these old stereotypes."

Ms Hewitt added: "We all know that sex sells but haven't we got past 'boys with toys'?

"We support the Motor Show and we support the automotive sector - but I personally think these adverts are a big mistake."

Scantily clad

The show, which runs until Saturday, features a number of scantily clad women.

A Motor Show spokesman said he believed the advert had been designed by a woman for women's magazines.

"The Motor Show is intended to be a fun family day out, not a show specifically for men.

"Over the last 50 years the whole motor industry has changed, it's clearly a forward-thinking industry."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Jenny Scott reports
"The cars may get updated every year but the methods of selling them doesn't seem to change much"
Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt
"It's perpetuating an image of the industry of being about toys for boys"

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See also:

21 Oct 02 | Business
08 Jul 98 | Talking Point
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