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Roofers body-parts press pack blasted as 'offensive'

A TRADE organisation has run into storm of protest after using a combination of national monu-ments and female body parts to promote itself.

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors' 1997 Interbuild press pack features a collage of Big Ben and St Paul's against a backdrop of a woman's buttocks, legs and stomach.

Sandi Rhys Jones, who chairs the government's working group on equality opportunities in construction, accused the NFRC of being 'way off beam'.

She said: 'It is tacky, entirely inappropriate and offensive. It is a marketing and PR disaster. I think a lot of people will be depressed by this. It is like we take one step forward and then 15 steps back.'

But Edward Cowan, chief executive of the NFRC, said it was 'all about symbolism'.

He said: 'Artists from the Renaissance onwards always used the body as symbolism in art. That's what we were trying to do. The body was used to symbolise flat, curved and pitched roofs.'

Mr Cowan admitted the NFRC had taken five complaints about the pictures.

The NFRC's promotions and exhibitions manager, David Hathaway, said the cover had succeeded in its aim to 'catch the eye'.

And he said it was wrong to assume the body parts were all female. 'You can't actually tell whose bum it is, whether it is a man's or a woman's.' The 'bum' in question is wearing suspenders.