When Marketing Goes Wrong - Bus Print ads edition

01 October 2021

Surely marketing your brand on the back of the bus is a thing of the past!? Channel 4’s Naked Attraction is probably wishing they stuck with an overall cheaper, more effective medium of marketing such as Social Media after their most recent campaign went wrong. We understand print ads are often meant to make the viewer do a double-take, however, Channel 4 seem to have overstepped the mark as Twitter Users had a lot to say about the campaign.



Intended to market the new series of the daring reality tv show Naked Attraction, the bus ads have caused a stir. Many described the campaign involving unsuspecting bus passengers as tasteless. The advert (pictured below) includes arrows pointing to random seats on the top deck of the bus and ridicules each innocent commuter either “Loves Naked Attraction," "Hates Naked Attraction," or "Loves being naked".

Writer Tracy King was one of the first to distribute the ad on Twitter and share her views - "I’d like to know what sort of person thinks bus users are disposable fodder for advertising purposes, anonymous silhouettes with no agency or value beyond ‘lol we stuck a sign on their back implying they’re horny’".


Unsurprisingly, the Naked Attraction adverts are already being taken down from the sides of busses. Transport for London said in a recent statement: "We have reviewed the ad campaign and decided that it should not continue to run on our bus network. It will be removed as soon as practicable." 

Channel 4 also apologised: "This ad is based on a Channel 4 entertainment programme. It was not our intention to cause offence and we apologise if it has done so." While print adverts are usually created to get people talking, Channel 4 didn’t quite think this one through. 

Let’s keep Bus adverts in the dark ages and focus on the power of Social Media Marketing instead. Less controversy and no money wasted from a failed campaign.

Interested in marketing your business on Social Media with an eye-catching campaign? Contact us at Gather Social, we can support your business with their Social Media Marketing. Read another blog by clicking here. 

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