Melbourne: Virgin Atlantic’s new ad showing men lusting over glamorous red-suited airhostesses has come under fire for promoting ‘sexism’. The advert has also been deemed ‘offensive’.
England’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received 29 complaints over the ad campaign, which also includes press advertising, insisting that the ads are insulting to women.
The 90-second TV commercial shows female cabin crew walking through an airport for Virgin Atlantic’s first flight in 1984.
Onlookers turn their heads and men ogle the sexy hostesses with dreamy looks on their faces, enthralled with the progression. One man drops his mobile phone and another squirts sauce from his hamburger down his shirt.
The ad ends with a scantily dressed woman painted on the side of the Virgin plane winking as the plane takes off, with the line “still red hot”.
However the advertising watchdog has cleared the ad of sexism claims.
“The general crux of the complaints was that the ad was offensive because it was sexist and presented a stereotypical view of gender roles,” News.com.au quoted the ASA as saying.
“We considered that most viewers would understand that the ad presented exaggerated stereotypical views of the early 1980s and played upon perceived attitudes of that time in a humorous way,” it added.
According to UK’s Telegraph, a spokesman for Virgin Atlantic said that the advertising campaign has been well-received.