Sport Motorsport V8 Supercars ‘always reviewing’ promo girls

V8 Supercars ‘always reviewing’ promo girls

Promo girls
Grid girls pose for a photo at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Photo: Getty
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Supercars says it is always reviewing the use of female brand ambassadors as Formula One moves to stop grid girls taking to the track.

Formula One management on Thursday (AEDT) announced walk-on grid girls weren’t appropriate or relevant.

The ban will begin at the Australian Grand Prix in March and extends to other racing during F1 weekends.

Australia’s leading motorsport category, Supercars, hasn’t used scantily-clad grid girls for years but still permits teams and sponsors to hire so-called “brand ambassadors”.

Supercars also sets minimum dress standards.

“Supercars is focused on being respectful and ensuring the sport is presented in a professional manner which reflects modern-day societal standards,” corporate affairs general manager Cole Hitchcock said.

“The engagement of male and female brand ambassadors is subject to regular review based on these standards.”

Posing at the V8 Supercars at the Bathurst 1000. Photo: AAP

Women Sport Australia has urged other sports to scrap ring girls, walk-on girls and podium girls.

“WSA encourages other sports to follow suit … to provide women with equal opportunity, equal pay and conditions to participate in and play their sport, not pose for their sport,” WSA president Carol Fox said.

“Women in sport should be celebrated for being strong, skilled athletes, not for being a titillating sideline decoration to men playing sport.

However, despite Supercars’ change in terminology, one of its leading sponsors, Armor All, continues to refer to their promotional staff as grid girls.

So does Promotional Models Australia, which describes itself as the nation’s premier agency for motor racing promotional girls.

The change by Formula One is one of many changes to follow Bernie Ecclestone’s sale of the organisation to American media conglomerate Liberty Media Corporation ahead of the 2017 season.

“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern-day societal norms,” F1 commercial operations director Sean Bratches said on Thursday.

“We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”