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SEXISM

Cycling safety ad sparks sexism outcry in Germany

An advertising campaign by Germany's transport ministry to persuade cyclists to wear helmets has sparked accusations of sexism, as it features a model wearing just a helmet and underwear.

Cycling safety ad sparks sexism outcry in Germany
L: The ad in question. R: A cyclist in Karlsruhe. Composite: DPA

With the slogan “Looks like shit. But saves my life”, the advert features a profile-shot of a competitor in the gameshow Germany's Next Topmodel sporting a violet coloured helmet and a lacy bra.

But the advert, which is due to be plastered on billboards from Tuesday, ran smack into criticism, with the women's wing of junior coalition partners SPD demanding it be halted.

“It is embarrassing, stupid and sexist for the transport minister to be selling his policies using naked skin,” Maria Noichl, chairwoman of the SPD's women's wing, told Bild am Sonntag.

Family Minister Franziska Giffey also hit out at Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer of the conservative CSU party.

Posting a photo of herself dressed in a business attire with her bicycle on Facebook, she wrote: “Dear Andreas Scheuer: fully dressed also goes well with a helmet!”

Defending the advert, a transport ministry spokesman said: “A successful road safety campaign should jolt people and can be polarising.”

Meanwhile, the campaign has stoked mockery on social media, with one user saying it is Germany's bicycle infrastructure that “#lookslikeshit”.

READ ALSO: 10 important rules and tips for cycling safely on German streets

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SEXISM

Bild editor steps down over allegations of affairs with employees

The editor-in-chief of German newspaper Bild is stepping down temporarily while he is investigated over several complaints made by women, publisher Axel Springer group said on Saturday.

Bild editor steps down over allegations of affairs with employees
Bild editor Julian Reichelt at the Bild newspaper's 'Sommerfest' party in 2018. Photo: picture alliance / Jörg Carstensen/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

Julian Reichelt had “asked the board of directors to be temporarily relieved of his duties until the allegations have been clarified”, the group said in a statement. The complaints prompted the company to launch an internal investigation led by lawyers.

Reichelt is suspected of having promoted interns with whom he had affairs and then sidelining or firing them, the Spiegel newspaper reported. Members of staff came forward months ago but Spiegel said management had been slow to look into the allegations.

However, the publisher defended itself in its statement: “As a matter of  principle Axel Springer always has to distinguish between rumors, indications and clear evidence.”

It said the firm would take action when there was clear evidence, adding: “Currently, there is no such clear evidence. Prejudgments based on rumors are unacceptable for the Axel Springer corporate culture.”

Reichelt denies the claims, the group said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.

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