Cracks appear in gym’s advertising campaign

By Toby Holloway

A billboard advert that was displayed during the Cardiff half-marathon last weekend has been accused of “over-sexualising women” and has been met with strong criticism from onlookers and commentators.

The advert, which was endorsing Cardiff gym UFit Fitness, showed a revealing photograph of a woman’s backside on a cycling machine, accompanied by the caption “There are better things to be stuck in front of than the car in front”. The advert was located at the end of Cathays Terrace next to Lidl, and is estimated to have been viewed by around 22,000 half-marathon runners, plus hundreds more supporters and passers-by.

Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens was quote by Wales Online as saying: “This is yet another example of inappropriate and sexist advertising that shouldn’t be anywhere near a family friendly event.

“It has no place at a brilliant day for Cardiff showcasing our wonderful city and the fantastic efforts of everyone who was involved in the Cardiff Half.”

The advert also drew criticism from a number of Cardiff University students, with 3rd year Pharmacy student Louise Hill saying that the advert would “discourage me [from attending UFit Fitness] because [the advert is] oversexualising women.

“It would make me think the people attending their gym are sleazy and would just stare at girls working out which is uncomfortable”, she added.

Another student, also in 3rd year, said: “[the advert] just seems like another example of objectifying women being seen as so normal it’s displayed at a family event.

“And it’s definitely puts me off the gym it’s advertising.”

However not all were offended by the UFit Fitness advertisement, with one 3rd year Human Geography stating: “it just seems like an awful advert because I can’t even tell what they’re advertising.”