For young people, the upcoming European election may not be the most exciting event in the world, so the Danish parliament tried to sex up the ballot in a new television advert, literally.

Featuring a bare-chested hero called Voteman, the advert starts with him in bed with five women, and follows him as he punches non-voters in the face and interrupts another couple having sex in order to get them to a voting station.

The video was posted on YouTube and the Danish parliament website, but was removed after an outcry over its lewd and unprofessional content.

Anders Samuelsen, a Liberal Alliance party MP, told news agency Ritzau: “I can’t understand that you would use violence against women, porn, and the handout of I don’t know how many slaps as an argument for people to go and vote.”

Defending the clip, parliament chairman Mogens Lykketoft told news site DR Nyheder: “We are trying to inspire the very young. A high turnout is important, so you use every method you can.”

However, in an e-mail sent to members of staff later in the day, he conceded: “Many people whose opinions I deeply respect have perceived the cartoon from the EU information centre as far more serious and offensive than it was intended. I acknowledge that the parliament as an institution should be more careful in the future about what we put our name on.” – Daily Mail