Watchdog ban ‘sexist’ Ryanair adverts

 A consumer watchdog has banned Ryanair’s ‘sexist’ advertising campaign after claims that it ‘objectified’ women.

The promotion sparked complaints after it shown scantily-clad models in lingerie alongside the headline: “Red Hot Fares and Crew’. One flight attendant claimed the advert portrayed its cabin crew as glamour models.

The advert was banned after thousands of people backed calls for the promotion to be removed.

According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) the adverts were likely to cause ‘widespread offence’.

One image titled ‘Ornella February’ was particularly ‘sexually suggestive’, as it showed a model pulling down the top of her underwear with her thumb.

Ryanair announced the promotion featured shots taken from its 2012 cabin crew calendar, which was made for charity.

The budget airline said the ads – which were featured in national newspapers – were done to ‘promote its 2012 cabin crew charity calendar’ and didn’t believe the ads to be ‘offensive or unsuitable for public display’.

A spokesperson for the ASA said: “We also considered that most readers would interpret these images in conjunction with the text “Red Hot Fares and Crew!!!” and the names of the women, as linking female cabin crew with sexually suggestive behaviour”.

“Although we acknowledge that the women in the ads had consented to appear in the calendar, we considered that the ads were likely to cause widespread offence, when displayed in a national newspaper”.

The promotion caused controversy last year when it was launched, and more than 5,000 people supported the online campaign, which was led by flight attendant Ghada.

She said at the time: “I’m a member of cabin crew. I love my job and take it seriously, so I was disgusted to see this Ryanair ad, which basically portrays cabin crew as glamour models.

“My work colleagues – many of whom are male, work hard with me to ensure the safety of our passengers. Safety is our number one priority, not the brand of our underwear”.

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh