Yesterday, the airline urged customers to "Check Out the Oil On Our Beaches, Plus $50 Off", in an email blast. The promotion features a scantily clad woman in a bikini covered in tanning oil. Well, You can imagine the outrage it sparked, critics saying it was making light of the Oil Spill catastrophe.
Spirit Airlines issued the following response, ""It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with today's beach promotion. We are merely addressing the false perception that we have oil on our beaches, and we are encouraging customers to support Florida and our other beach destinations by continuing to travel to these vacation hot spots." They went on to say, "The only oil you'll find when traveling to our beaches is sun tan oil." Which was the whole point of the ad. And they're not just promoting Florida beaches. The promo also includes Cancun, San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Atlantic City.
This isn't the first time Spirit Airlines has made the headlines. Last week, a pilot strike caused flights to be canceled. The airline is also known for being the first one to charge for luggage. Thank you for that! And they've never been one to shy away from controversy. To them there is no such thing as bad press. A week after Tiger Woods crashed his SUV, Spirit launched an "Eye of the Tiger Sale". They also launched a campaign full of sexual innuendos and acronyms. For instance their "MILF" Sale (many islands low fares). Then they said that they were "proud of their DD's" (deep discounts).
So is this creative advertising or in bad taste? And is their latest ad campaign making light of the oil spill? Here's what some of our viewers had to say:
Tamar Janisbeth Lopez:
At first I was going to say it was not, but then I thought about it. Using that slogan raises awareness about the spill without making someone feel guilty. What I mean is, it is light enough to make an impact. People begin to think, "Wow, this is spreading, what can I do?" Others may not think that way but some do.
Shouldn't we be more p*ssed @ the spill itself?
With this tasteless & objectifying ad, Spirit Airlines just ensured I will NEVER fly with them.
Poor decision by Spirit Airlines and their agency. They should build up their destinations. Not push others down
As someone who works in the hospitality marketing realm, I find Spirit Airlines new ad campaign absolutely revolting
Get in on the dish. Send me your tweets: twitter.com/maggiesworld or email: email@example.com
And that's today's helping of Online Dish.