Julian Schmid's campaign poster shows his face covered in red lipstick kisses, with the slogan “I'm open for everything”.
The liberal Neos party complained to the Werbewatchgroup that the poster was sexist, and their complaint has been upheld. The watchdog said that the poster could suggest that Schmid is “open for sexual adventures” and that this is a case of “a male being sexualised”.
In a statement the group said that “whilst objectifying this man, the poster is also trying to, with a wink, acknowledge gender stereotyped patterns - where the man is seen as potent and polyamorous”.
The watchdog went on to say that because the red lipstick marks were associated with women (and not men), the poster also “effectively excluded non-heterosexual relationships".
Schmid, who is the Greens' spokesperson for youth issues, told der Standard newspaper that the whole thing was “really embarrassing” but said that he thinks “politics should also be a little bit fun - and at least now we've drawn some attention to the campaign posters”.