Car brands begin moving away from controversial use of glamour girls at Geneva Motor Show

Written by
Vin Shahrestani

Geneva Motor Show, one of the biggest car events of the year, has been known to get the crowds excited with state of the art machines and scantily clad "models".

But what was once deemed as a cheeky but acceptable gimmick for promoting the latest car is now finally being seen as not-so-subtle sexism, a long standing issue of the auto industry.

Geneva Motor Show car model

A model inside a car at Geneva Motor Show Automotive Rhythms

As well as portraying women as objects, car events like the Geneva Motor Show have had models harassed and touched as they worked.

Roxane Baumann, a model for Japanese motoring company Yokohama, told reporters she had been groped at the car show. A Nissan hostess also said she was asked on dates multiple times.

For brands and organisers, the changing attitude in the use of show girls has prompted some to adopt a more updated formats for promotion.

Swiss satirist Andreas Steel and his colourful Mohican hairdo was somewhat oddly used by Land Rover to promote their cars whilst Volkswagen brought in both male and female models wearing costumes made from airbags and car seats rather.

Things are also changing institutionally. Last year Auto Shanghai banned show girls from the event, but allowed for "senior sales consultants" to be dressed appropriately on stage.

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