They might be Top Models, but a couple of the contestants on the top-rating television show have turned out to be anything but role models for anti-tobacco campaigners.
Two of the girls on New Zealand's Next Top Model have been caught out smoking at an Auckland bar, the night after appearing on TV3 in support of a smokefree New Zealand.
On Friday, September 3, they modelled in poster shoots for the 'Not Our Future' campaign, backing smokefree lifestyles. The next night Danielle Hayes and Holly Potton were seen lighting up and puffing on cigarettes in the Longroom bar, Ponsonby.
A bar patron said: "They walked in and were sitting at the table outside for about 30 minutes, smoking a majority of the time.
"Holly, when she walked in, she went up and kissed one of the bouncers."
Staff from the Longroom confirmed the two girls had been at the bar on Saturday night.
A TV3 executive, Andrew Szusterman, said: "We're disappointed. However, these girls are adults, who choose what they do in their own time."
When contacted yesterday, Potton said: "I'm really sorry I can't comment ... I'm actually not going to comment." When asked if she smoked often, Potton would still not comment. "I'm not going to defend myself ... I don't want to be rude and hang up ... I'm really sorry I can't comment."
Hayes said in an interview on the episode that: "Smoking has an effect on appearance and gives you stink breath, stink clothes, stink fingers, stink lips - it's just stink."
Health Sponsorship Council Smokefree NZ manager Susie Robertson said a number of participants in the 'Not Our Future' campaign were smokers.
"The Top Model photo-shoot was designed to follow the same process undertaken with the current celebrities who feature in the campaign, a number of whom are smokers," she said. "We believe that smokers and ex-smokers can converse knowingly about quitting, their regret and their thoughts on the tobacco industry."
The TV show has been under fire this season for having 16-year-old Michaela Steenkamp pose topless with only mud covering her. The picture was removed from the TV3 website.