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US brand was accused of sexism when bike was launched in Berlin earlier this month

US bike brand Specialized has confirmed to road.cc that the controversial limited edition Playboy electric bike it unveiled at a bike show in Berlin earlier this month will not be on public sale because “it does not align with our brand values.”

The Morgan Hill, California-based company had been accused of sexism after pictures were circulated on social media the weekend before last of two women dressed as Playboy Bunnies promoting the bike at the trade show.

Some 40 examples of the black and gold e-bike were offered for sale on the German market. But in an emailed statement, the company told road.cc today: “‘The Limited Edition Turbo in collaboration with Playboy will not be sold.

“We are a brand for all riders and acknowledge this brand partnership does not align with our values.”

Specialized had already apologised for the PR stunt, with chief marketing officer Slate Olson saying the brand “stands strong with female riders and we do not support the objectification of women in any way, in any region.”

The company added that “this market activation was carried out locally by the regional marketing manager, and was not discussed with or approved by our global marketing team.”

> Specialized apologises for Playboy Bunny e-bike promotion

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

5 comments

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Yogic Cyclist [33 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Pathetic. 

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StraelGuy [1074 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sehr gut, ja?

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vbvb [621 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes
Tony Farrelly wrote:

I do have a problem with us foisting...UK twitter morality on another nation

Lol.

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hawkinspeter [1029 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I bet their regional marketing manager is looking for another job now.

I'm glad they've realised what a stupid idea that was.

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dottigirl [808 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

'The company added that “this market activation was carried out locally by the regional marketing manager, and was not discussed with or approved by our global marketing team.”'

Pull the other one.

So, they managed to put together the bike, including designing, producing decals, promotional material,  etc, in Germany, without anyone elsewhere becoming aware?

Yeah, right.