COMPANIES across the UK are apologising and taking down a controversial advert for the Channel 4 programme Naked Attraction after a fierce backlash saw members of the public accuse the firms of being “tone deaf”.

The ads have been met with criticism and complaints were lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority, Transport for London and a number of national and local bus companies.

The ad features arrows pointing to certain seats on the bus with words written underneath.

One part sees an arrow pointing up to a seat with the words “loves naked attraction” and the other with an arrow pointing up to a separate seat saying “hates naked attraction”.

But the part that is causing the most uproar is where the advert shows an arrow pointing to a seat with the words “loves being naked”.

Writer Tracy King, who used to work in marketing, described the ad as “creepy” and suggested Channel 4 did not take into account sexual assaults on public transport when publishing the ad.

She tweeted: “What the hell is this creepy bus ad? You can’t just label non-consenting passengers like that. Does @Channel4 not know how many sexual assaults take place on buses?

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“My background is marketing. In general you have to be very careful with adverts that include the public without their consent, and that goes double for public transport.

“Passengers shouldn’t have to navigate ‘am I the butt of a joke on my way to work today’.

“If you do go down that route(master), you absolutely should not under any circumstance make the joke a sexualised one. I don’t know why that isn’t @tfl and @global policy already but it should be. Passengers can’t consent to this stuff.”

Responding to the tweet, Transport for London said: "Thanks for your feedback. We have reviewed the ad campaign and decided that it should not continue to run on our bus network.

"It will be removed as soon as practicable, and we will continue our efforts to ensure public transport is safe for everyone."

There were also concerns raised by members of the public if a child were to sit on one of the seats.

Transport for London also announced the advert would be pulled, telling the BBC: “We have reviewed the ad campaign and decided that it should not continue to run on our bus network. It will be removed as soon as practicable."

There were also concerns raised in Essex and Dundee over the same ad.

FirstBus, Stagecoach and Xplore Dundee have stated that they will remove the ads.

A representative for FirstBus apologised for the ads. Responding to a customer complaint, the representative said: “We’re sorry for any upset caused by displaying C4’s ’Altogether Different’ advert on our buses.

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“We’re working with our advertising partner Global to ensure they are removed from our fleet as quickly as possible.”

A spokesperson for Stagecoach said: "Advertising on our buses is outsourced to media company Global.

“Separate to the decision by Transport for London, we contacted Global and insisted that this particular advert is removed from any of our vehicles as soon as possible."

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “This ad is based on a Channel 4 entertainment programme. It was not our intention to cause offence and we apologise if it has done so.”

FirstBus, Global and Transport Scotland have been approached for comment.