An ad for the E3 Harelbeke cycling race in the Flanders region of Belgium has been met with a certain amount of criticism today, and for good reason.
Poking fun at the infamous moment that Slavak cyclist Peter Sagan pinched a podium girls bottom last year, the ad has received a host of negative comments on social media today.
To think that someone believed that the advert for #E3Harelbeke was a good idea,its 2015 not 1975.Sexist beyond belief.
— Jacky H (@alswifejacky) February 23, 2015
So, that #E3Harelbeke poster, eh? Was the design brief "I want something resembling those bigoted Carry On films of the 1970's"?
— Stuart Clapp (@StuartJClapp) February 23, 2015
— Josh Donaldson (@josh_don) February 23, 2015
In an effort to promote the E3 Harelbeke, race organisers decided to poke fun at the controversial incident with a provocative image with a tagline that directly translates to ‘Who squeezes them in Harelbeke?’
Sagan was forced to issue a public apology last year in response to the incident: "I am so sorry and I hope that Maja and anyone else I have offended knows how sorry I am. I promise to act more respectfully in the future."
Sagan, who was second in the race in question, could not keep his hands to himself when the podium girl leant into to kiss the winner Fabian Cancellara. With a smile, he theatrically touched her bottom.
However it seems race organisers were not a bit put off by the negativity surrounding Sagan’s actions last year, deciding it was the perfect way to seek promotion.
We would love to know your thoughts on the campaign so do share in the comments below and via our social media channels.