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.”
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.