Santa Monica pulls 'Top Model 8' bus ads after resident complaints
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/27/2007
Large images of beautiful women wearing jungle-style bikinis would seem like a good way to market the eighth season of The CW's America's Next Top Model, but it appears the people of Santa Monica, CA disagree.
Top Model 8 advertisements that were posted on the sides of Santa Monica's Big Blue Buses have been removed after running for two weeks, Daily Varietyreported on Monday.
While Stephanie Negriff, director of transit services in Santa Monica, declined to reveal exactly how many complaints the city received, she said it was "enough of a number that it allowed me to make a decision." And since Big Blue Bus is a public entity, the company felt pressured to take the ads down based on the complaints.
"It's a matter of public taste," Negriff told Variety. "We try to be sensitive to the community."
The ads depicted the 13 girls in the Top Model 8 cast, as well as the series' judge and creator Tyra Banks, wearing jungle-style bikinis -- the same image that is plastered on billboards throughout the greater Los Angeles area -- including in Santa Monica. Negriff said the majority of calls protesting the bus ads came from people "concerned that the city was somehow endorsing a show that may objectify women."
"We wouldn't want to do anything that would disrespect women," Negriff told Variety.
Despite the fact that the Top Model ads ran for two weeks before being yanked, Big Blue Bus decided to refund all of the money The CW paid for them. "It's a jungle out there in bus marketing," a CW spokesman told Variety. "Even top models aren't safe anymore."
The eighth season of America's Next Top Model is scheduled to premiere with a special two-hour episode on Wednesday, February 28 at 8PM ET/PT on The CW.