Brussels motor show marketing models told to cover up

BRUSSELS Mon Jan 7, 2013 6:17pm EST

A model poses next to a Dodge Nitro before the opening of the International Motor Show in Brussels January 12, 2007. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

A model poses next to a Dodge Nitro before the opening of the International Motor Show in Brussels January 12, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Thierry Roge

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Carmakers showing off their latest models at the Brussels motor show later this month have been told to refrain from using scantily dressed women to promote their wares.

Reports of lewd behavior by some male visitors at last year's event prompted Belgium's equal opportunities minister Joelle Milquet to write to the organizers.

She criticized the use of women in body-hugging outfits for advertising purposes.

"A motor show is a place where you go with your family, we have to question the stereotypes we are passing on to children and young adults," the minister wrote.

Belgian car federation Febiac, which organizes the annual event, said that following the letter it had asked carmakers to ensure appropriate dress at their stands.

"We asked them to be responsible and sensible and we hope that everything will go well," a spokesman for Febiac said.

Suzuki Belgium said it planned make sure its promotional staff at the show complied with the request.

"I can tell you that it won't be shocking and that Ms Milquet will have no reason whatsoever to complain about it," a company spokesman said.

The organizers of the January 11-20 show are expecting to attract some 350,000 visitors.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Paul Casciato)

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