The butcher shop, Mezgerei Keller, was lambasted for its image of a woman wearing a red mini-skirt, with bare legs and red killer high heels, holding a meat cleaver in her left hand and a juicy, raw steak in her right.
In another ad, also emblazoned on the company's trucks, a young woman wearing red lipstick smiles and looks towards the camera as she bites into a sausage wrapped in Keller foil.
A woman who saw the ads complained to the advertising commission (SLK) about what she found to be their salacious double meaning. The SLK investigated and decided that naked legs had nothing to do with meat, 20 Minuten newspaper reported.
“In addition, the ad offended the dignity of women, because the slogan reduces the model to an object of lust and carnal desire,” according to SLK spokesman Piero Schäfer.
But butcher Urs Keller said he found the SLK’s decision absurd, arguing that just "wanted to do something modern" instead of always advertising with a dead animal. Keller has since removed the offending tagline from his delivery vehicles, although the pictures are still on show.
Keller said none of his 60 employees found the advertisement sexist, nor did the model herself.
“Nobody had ambiguous thoughts. Obviously other people have active imaginations.”
However, a butcher working in Metzgerei Keller, who didn’t want to be named, told The Local:
“That’s the idea of the pictures – to turn heads and get our butcher shop noticed.”
Natalie Trummer, co-director of women’s organisation Terre des Femmes, told 20 Minuten she believed the ad was unambiguous even without the slogan and called for a boycott of the butcher.
“Through her clichéd presentation as a sex worker, the woman is as buyable as the meat,” she said.