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Harmless fun or sexist?

Geneva Motor Show's glamour girls and boys

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At the Geneva International Motor Show, it’s common to see stick thin fashion models striking poses in front of flashy new cars. It may be old fashioned, but is it offensive? (Julie Hunt,

Car show models force car companies to think hard about the image they want to project. A Nissan manager told that every year the company discusses whether it still wants to use models at the Geneva event. The consensus is that beautiful women are more likely to draw the attention of photographers. 

They certainly draw the (sometimes unwelcome) attention of male visitors. Beauty queen Miss Yokohama told she had been groped. A Nissan hostess said she was frequently asked on dates. 

Land Rover decided to do without the girls this year, opting instead for a Swiss satirist  with a colourful Mohican hairdo to promote the brand at their stand. 

Volkswagen also bucked the glamour girl trend. The company that was expected to keep a low profile following the emission tests scandal, celebrated 20 years of the Golf GTI with male and female models sporting costumes made from materials more commonly found in airbags and car seats.

700,000 visitors are expected at the show at the Palexpo exhibition centre, which runs until 13 March.