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New Standard Set for Creepy 'Sexy Flight Attendants' Airline Advertising

January 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM | by | ()

Modern-day airlines are not shy about travel advertising built on the sex appeal of their flight attendants. Ryanair closed last year with a particularly blatant reminder, in the form of a lingerie calendar, that booking a ticket with the airline would get you a chance to interact with their hot employees. That wasn't particularly original, inasmuch as we've recently seen sex advertising and nude calendars involving flight attendants of Aeroflot and Mexicana and Spanish Air and Avianova. It was, however, somewhat effective at generating customer interest, since it turns out that sex sells. Who knew?

There are those people who criticize these ads, either on general sexism grounds or because the ads potentially promote the sexual harassment of flight attendants. Then there are other people who throw up their hands on the question, settling for the neutral argument that it's the job of advertisers to make effective ads and that's that. Finally there are the people who actively defend sex-tinged advertising, because what's wrong with sex? But on this we hope all sides can agree: this 1950s ad for Czech Airlines—which doesn't seem like an ad but really was—is pervy and creepy and pervy and creepy.

Even in an era where stewardesses were not allowed to weigh more than 135 pounds, it seems a little much to advertise air travel on the basis of dressing and undressing your flight attendant.

We're not sure what the takeaway from this post is. You can easily conclude that we haven't made any progress since the 1950s, since there are now calendars with actual undressed flight attendants. But on the other hand, at least airlines aren't not portraying flight attendants as actual dolls any more.

Either way: what the hell, Czech Airlines?

[Photo: x-ray delta one / Flickr]

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