TOKYO -- One hallmark of Chinese auto shows is their politically incorrect zeal for, ahem, “alluring” floor models.
In one stunt at the 2012 Beijing show, a mystery model clad in only a mirror-visored crash helmet and white string bikini strolled the halls pitching an automotive magazine. (For the record, it wasn’t Automotive News.) Packs of paunchy shutterbugs buzzed around her like a cloud of gnats, blocking the aisles.
Now, show organizers are starting to have second thoughts about the old maxim “sex sells” and the damage done to their image.
The awakening began with the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, the country’s No. 3 show after Beijing and Shanghai.
Organizers there want to ban “vulgar activities” to “purify” the auto-viewing experience, an automotive official at the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade told China’s Global Times late last month. They are proposing new guidelines to stamp out exhibitors who go overboard on overexposure.
“Although the vulgar atmosphere had died down for a time, it has again become common to see some models wearing thin, sheer and transparent clothing in sales promotions,” the report said.
Toning down the hormones is a good idea. It should give China shows an air of maturity and more international credibility.
Now, if organizers can also fix the ear-splitting noise and rib-cracking crowds, they might just be onto something.