OFF INTO THE WILD WET YONDER How does this...
Car Girls Deemed “Distraction” at Auto Shows
Scantily clad car models have been banned from this week’s Shanghai Auto Exhibition, the biggest car show in China. The reason? According to Chinese media, these “car babes” have been labeled a distraction as they divert show goers’ attention away from the actual cars. This follows in the wake of criticism against these types of models, who have long been an integral feature of these events especially around Asia.
As a compromise, industry insiders say that auto dealers plan to pay models to fill the role of “sales consultants,” while wearing less revealing clothing, one would assume.
Perhaps the event organizers simply want to insure that the vehicles get as much attention as possible from gawkers and buyers alike, as car sales have taken a dip in China. More foreign automakers than ever will be participating in this year’s show, so even despite the marked slowdown in China’s economy overall the country remains the largest market in the world for auto sales.
Beyond that reasoning, a slightly more plausible explanation is that the Chinese government wants to safeguard against situations where crowds could get out of control—as was the case when Shanghai experienced a stampede on New Year’s Eve that resulted in 36 dead. Those who have been to auto shows before might see how this makes sense, if you have ever been caught up in a throng of guys jostling forward to get close-up photos of the models. Children, by the way, are also banned from the auto show for “safety reasons.”
Many say that this is just another move in China’s greater anti-corruption campaign. If so, then why go after models? If the priority is not to flaunt flashy cars, and thereby tempt corrupt officials who are in the market for a new set of wheels, it seems that models would be a distraction supportive of the overall cause. Well, short of canceling the show, that is.