Breitling backs away from “unsuitable” use of women in its advertising

Anybody that has attended a Breitling party at Baselworld over the past few years will know they are spectacular events where watch executives around the world are entertained and waited on by bevies of beautiful women and men.

Breitling is far from alone in using glamorous models and promotional staff to keep its trade customers happy, but it is among the first to react to a new era of #timesup in which pit lane girls at Formula 1 motor racing events and walk-on girls at darts tournaments are being retired.

Breitling’s chief executive George Kern has not said whether the company will be toning down, reworking or even postponing its party at this year’s Baselworld, but he has said it is bring an end to animated pop art advertisements that feature provocatively dressed women working on World War II fighter planes.

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In an interview with Switzerland’s SonntagsZeitung, Mr Kern said that the company had received complaints about the way the women are depicted in the adverts, and he decided they are no longer appropriate.

“I stopped them immediately,” Mr Kern said. “Some customers thought they were funny. But such clips were no longer suitable and do not reflect values of today’s society.”

He did not specify which advertisements and promotions have been stopped but said new campaigns would launch in May.

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