A Green councillor has seen red over a shop’s marketing of pink bikes to girls.

Sven Rufus, who represents Hollingdean and Stanmer on Brighton and Hove City Council, said Halfords was “pigeonholing” youngsters according to their sex.

But one fellow councillor said Coun Rufus’s objection was “ridiculous”.

In its brochure the shop in Lewes Road, Brighton, offers police bikes for boys and princess bikes for girls.

The company says girls who ride its bikes will be “sweet as cupcakes surrounded by pink and sprinkles” while boys are encouraged to “charge through the jungle” on two wheels.

Coun Rufus, a self-employed ecologist, made an official complaint to the Halfords marketing department after being driven “nuts” by the adverts.

Categorising children

He said: “What inflames me as the parent of a daughter is this categorisation of children according to gender.

“It reinforces the idea for girls that there are certain jobs and roles they should be doing.

“The colour pink is a very visible manifestation of how girls are likened to fairies and princesses and things that aren’t real.

“It’s ridiculous.”

Emma Moore from campaign group Pink Stinks said the colour was “just a lazy marketing ploy”.

She said: “Halfords is a typical business when it comes to this kind of thing. I’m in complete agreement with Councillor Rufus.

“It’s absolutely vile that children aren’t being given the chance to grow up how they want from the moment they are born.

“This whole pink nonsense was never around in the 1970s – it’s completely false.”

'Designed by children'

But Dawn Barnett, Conservative councillor for Hangleton, described Coun Rufus’s complaint as “utterly stupid”.

She said: “If someone has a son who wants a pink bike then they can go and buy it, what’s the problem there?

“I think Coun Rufus should be spending his time usefully, not making ridiculous complaints.

“I always knew the Greens were losing the plot but now they appear to have gone completely mad.”

A spokeswoman from Halfords said: “Our new range of Apollo bikes has been designed with a panel of children.

"Their feedback and ideas helped Halfords in incorporating the final designs for the bikes.

“Great care has therefore been taken, ensuring the designs delight them.”

Talking point: Are pink items agressively marketed at girls?

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