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.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.