By Sara Ashley O’Brien
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – If riding in cars with beautiful models as drivers seems like a dream, it’s time to wake up.
Uber has done it. The service to get a private driver canceled the ad for “Avions de Chasse” (a colloquial term for an “incredibly sexy girl”) before any man could take advantage of a free fantasy tour (only 20 minutes).
The announcement (led by Uber’s office in Lyon, France) was a joint effort with a French website of the same name: Avions de Chasse.
Buzzfeed initially reported the sexist deal on Tuesday (but Uber had already taken down the page with the offer at the time).
Now, Uber wants everyone to forget that the idea ever existed.
“It was an obvious misconception of the local team,” wrote an Uber spokesperson in an emailed statement.
A tweet from the French local @UberLyon office expressed a similar sentiment: “We have canceled our collaboration as this time we obviously misjudged the situation. We apologize to anyone who has been offended.”
Pierre Garonnaire, the year-long co-founder of Avions de Chasse, said the program was to be a three-day free trial in Lyon. Uber customers would have booked “Avions de Chasse” through the Uber app.
Depending on its success, the service would later have been introduced in other French cities such as Paris and Bordeaux. (Uber currently operates in six cities throughout France and in more than 200 cities around the world.)
“They didn’t wait for Uber’s reaction in the United States,” Garonnaire said. “In the United States they are more puritanical. For me and for most people in France, this was a good idea. It was fun.”
Garionnaire said Uber asked him to remove the promo video, even though he himself was comfortable with the collaboration and didn’t feel the promo video was “sexy.”
“She is a pretty girl who arrives in a taxi and a boy opens the door for her,” he said about the video.
And what about the eerie time limit that makes the service sound more like a taboo?
That was a rule of thumb that some seem to have misunderstood.
“We don’t want the taxi to go out of town,” Garionnaire said. “Also for the girl’s safety. It is not a companion service.”