Virginia Mayo/AP

Ryanair rapped over ‘sexist’ newspaper ads for cabin crew calendar

The Advertising Standards Agency upholds complaints over newspaper ads selling the airline’s underwear-themed calendar.

THE UK’S advertising standards watchdog has upheld over a dozen complaints about newspaper advertising for Ryanair’s annual charity calendar featuring female members of its cabin crew in their underwear.

The Advertising Standards Authority said advertisements published in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Independent – showing female stewardesses in their underwear, one of them carrying the caption ‘Red hot fares and crew!’ – were sexist and objectified women.

The ASA said that although the images were “not overtly sexual in content, the appearance, stance and gaze of the women, particular the one in ad (a) [The Guardian ad], who was shown pulling her pants slightly down, were likely to be seen as sexually suggestive”.

We also considered that most readers would interpret these images, in conjunction with the text “RED HOT FARES & CREW!!!” and the names of the women, as linking female cabin crew with sexually suggestive behaviour.

The authority recognised that while the women appearing in the advertisements had consented to do so, appearing in a national newspaper meant they were “likely to cause widespread offence”.

Ryanair had defended itself by saying the flight attendants who appeared in the adverts had already consented to do so, by virtue of their participation in the charity calendar.

It also said the ads were not sexist and had not objectified women.

The Guardian’s take on the story quotes a spokeswoman for its own publication, which said a “system breakdown” meant its ad had not been vetted before it appeared in print.

Read: Less than seven hours after Malev collapse, Ryanair announces new Budapest base

Gallery: Our alternative Ryanair calendar – 12 months of Mick

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