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Road safety ad featuring sex workers removed after backlash

A judge released a suspect in a hit and run incident in Schaerbeek, who was driving without a licence and had already been involved in a hit-and-run. Credit: Google Street View

An ad promoting safe driving through depictions of sex workers has been taken down Monday after backlash from government officials in Schaerbeek.

After a 14-year-old girl was severely injured in a hit-and-run last week, ad agency MortierBrigade put up a poster featuring a fake store window with images of sex workers in the windows in an attempt to have drivers slow down, according to

The ad, which included the phrase “Apparently this is how you make men drive slower,” upset many in Schaerbeek, including Equal Opportunity alderman Sihame Haddioui.

The poster was meant to compare the intersection where the accident occurred to Aerschot, deemed by the advertisers as a street where traffic is much slower, according to BX1.

Haddioui condemned the ad, saying it was unacceptable to reduce women to sex objects and men to predators. She also invited MortierBrigade to work with officials to design an appropriate ad for safe driving.

Through a spokesperson, MortierBrigade said it respected that many were upset with the poster, but the goal was to raise awareness and not to shock people. The agency said it will meet with officials in the coming weeks

Sam Nelson
The Brussels Times