Ryanair "sexy schoolgirl" advertisement offends ASA

31 January, 2008

Budget airline Ryanair is in trouble with the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a print advertisement, yet again.

Recently, Ryanair had faced criticism over its advertising, with the office of French president Nicolas Sarkozy threatening legal action over an advertisement used by the airline depicting the president and his girlfriend Carla Bruni.

Now Ryanair is in trouble over an ad that features a model dressed as a schoolgirl in a scantily clad pose announcing the airline’s theme ‘Hottest Back-to-School Fares’. According to the Advertising Standards Authority, the advertisement appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behavior. Terming the ad as irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence, the ASA has called for withdrawal of the ad campaign.

Ryanair's head of communications Peter Sherrard has said that it is remarkable that a picture of a fully clothed model is now claimed to cause serious or widespread offence. He further added that many of the UK's newspapers regularly run pictures of topless or partially dressed females without causing any serious or widespread offence.

He was quoted by a web report as saying that at a time when TV and media advertising abounds in suggestive and provocative images, Ryanair believes that there is nothing either irresponsible or offensive in this particular advertisement.




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