Firefly is a budget airline in Asia that is a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines. Recently, the airline seems to have taken a page from the Spirit Airlines advertising playbook. Launched during International Women’s Day, the controversial advertisements featured women’s rear ends to promote their discounted flight offerings. Firefly ran the ads in local newspapers and on the web.
In one advertisement, a woman seen from behind has “50% off” written on her behind. The text “Firefly sticks to you” appears next to her.
Response to these advertisements have been mostly negative. For example, they caught the attention of Women’s Centre for Change (WCC), an organization based in Penang, Malaysia. WCC’s senior advocacy officer Melissa Mohd Akhir said:
“It is clear objectification when the image featured had zoomed in presumably on the buttocks of Firefly’s own women employees in order to sell discounted tickets.”
Due to the increasing criticism, Firefly issued an apology and removed the ad from its official page 3 days ago. Then a day later, Firefly posted an apology on their Twitter account.
How do you feel about Firefly’s advertising strategy?