woman hailing taxi
photo: iStock Photo/ozgurdonmaz

You'd think it goes without saying that capitalizing on people who don't appear "conventionally attractive" in order to gain customers is not good business practice, but someone needs to tell that to CityFox Taxis.

The Bristol, UK-based transportation company recently decided to frame its new adverts around the concept of "beer goggles" in order to attract passengers. The ad depicts an older, heavier woman with the caption, "If I start to look sexy, book a taxi."

Here's the ad in question:

cityfox ad
photo: CityFox

"Don't make bad decisions because you've had one too many!" the ad continues, presumably alluding to driving while intoxicated.

Of course — because heavier, middle-aged women can't be sexy, right?

CityFox has since seen an abundance of Twitter users voicing their displeasure and disgust with the choice of marketing tactic.

CityFox also created a male version of the same advert:

cityfox ad
photo: CityFox

And while a company spokesperson says CityFox will not apologize for the poor-taste ads, it will withdraw them:

"As one of the West Country’s biggest taxi providers, we see all too often the effects that excessive alcohol consumption can have on people’s safety and wellbeing, and the destructive consequences for society when this leads to anti-social behaviour," Sophie Palmer, the company's marketing and communications manager, told Metro.co.uk.

She continued:

This campaign featured two posters – one depicting a male and one a female – in an attempt to encourage people to think about the need to be able to get home in a safe and orderly manner when they’ve had a few too many to drink.

We make no apology for using humour and hard-hitting messages to highlight this issue – in order for people to think about the possible effects of their behaviour it is necessary to get their attention and get a reaction. The campaign has attracted many positive comments.

However, it would never be our intention to cause embarrassment or offense, and as such we have withdrawn the campaign.

We want people to enjoy the benefits of a night on the town, but also to make sure they get home safely afterwards, and we are always happy to work positively with any individual or organisation to achieve this aim.