German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has come under fire after reportedly calling for a ban on adverts which "reduce women or men to sexual objects." Critics described the proposed reform as "absurd" and "narrow-minded."

The comments on Monday followed reports in German weekly magazine "Spiegel," that German Justice Minister and Social Democrat (SPD) Heiko Maas wants to eliminate "gender discriminatory advertising."

The aim of the proposal - which is reportedly in response to the sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve - is to create a "modern gender image" in Germany, "Spiegel" said. In future, posters or ads which "reduce women or men to sexual objects" could be banned. In the case of dispute, a court would have to decide.

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