Are Firefly Airline Ads Sexist and Offensive?

by Eric

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.

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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.

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How do you feel about Firefly’s advertising strategy?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

4 comments
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4 comments

dan March 16, 2016 - 1:56 pm

I feel like the SJW(social justice warriors) will take offense to anything so might as well be overt about it and own it. I for one enjoy sexist and racist joke but don’t consider my self neither, but SJW’s will disagree. life is offensive get over it.

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Phoenix March 16, 2016 - 3:57 pm

Speaking as a non-SJW guy, this is over the line for sure. If I were an executive or manager in that company I would have stopped it going out. At the same time though, I would not have been able to suggest an alternative (shows why I’m not in advertising nor management!)

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Dsunday March 17, 2016 - 3:06 pm

what if your marketing director was a woman and was fine with it?

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asar March 16, 2016 - 5:45 pm

Classic advertising technique. Everything including the apology was prepared in advance. And it is working! People in US who had never heard of the airline are now talking about it.

I wish the SJW’s would just wake up. Everytime they protest something, it just garners more attention. If they stop publicizing these, such instances would go down.

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