Specialized “Playboy Bunnies” Cause Social Media Storm

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Specialized has sparked a social media debate after a number of Twitter users tweeted their displeasure towards the presence of two “Playboy Bunnies” alongside the new Specialized Turbo S Playboy Edition E-Bike at a bike show in Berlin.

Reports suggest that the e-bike – and the presence of the “Playboy” costumed women – went down well with the most of the audience, but some have expressed their disappointment on Twitter:

One person believed it was a case of outdated marketing:

Another stated she would drop Specialized all together:

E-Bikes now make up one in eight bike sales in Germany with an estimated figure of 2.5 million in circulation, but in the UK at least, the rise of the electric bike has yet to reach such heights. Although in Issue 98 we took some up a mountain (you can see more e-bike goodness in this “Behind The Lens” online feature from the same issue). 

In a press release, Specialized’s Dominik Geyer said:

“When the opportunity to a product collaboration with Playboy showed we were immediately hooked! Two premium brands – a joint project. The Turbo S Edition combines Playboy lifestyle, innovative technology and pure joy of cycling. We are proud of the 40 unique bikes.”

Carina Rey, head of Marketing Communication at Playboy expressed her enthusiasm at the collaboration:

“The Playboy E-Bike is the perfect blend of two famous brands : Specialized stands for quality and the highest technology of the bikes and Playboy provides the feeling of life.”

It’s worth bearing in mind that this E-Bike release is Germany specific – this limited edition model (there are only 40) will not be available in the UK, and some of the defence of the brand relies on the ‘cultural appropriateness’ defence.

…but what say you? Is Twitter getting its fundament in a twist over nothing? is the ‘e-bike’ thing more offensive than the bunnies, even? Let us know!

Comments (15)

    Not the first time I’ve heard of this at German Trade Shows.

    The one on the right looks like she’d benefit from a decent meal!

    The one on the left seems to have won a prize?
    Best in breed?

    I’m not angry, just disappointed.

    Ding Ding! The offended bus is in the station!

    I think the marketing tie up is the questionable decision, once you have a tie up with Playboy then everything that follows is kind of secondary…

    I find it more offensive that one in eight German bike buyers buys an electric bike
    Besides anything that damages Specialised rep is fine by me

    i wouldn’t say i was offended by it, but it is a pretty stupid move on the part of specialized.

    “40 unique bikes”.

    being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.

    So you can’t have 40 of them, can you!

    Do the bunnies offend me…No
    will the bunnies make me want to buy a specialized…No
    Are the Girls being exploited and made to do something they do not want to do…No
    get a grip people there a lot more wrong in the world than this but its easy to sit on your keyboard and feel offended

    Men complaining about women complaining of sexism in a male dominated world….mmmmm let’s ponder that one.

    E bikes bring the badness out in everything.

    Appalling,shocked, disgusted. Yours, righteous indignation

    Are those 6′ high heels SPD compatible? Might get some for Mrs. B.

    I’m with iain 1775 in that i’m more upset with the whole e bike tomfoolery.

    And as for alexham common sense has no place on these forums! Sort yourself out!

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