AirAsia was forced to apologize after an ad campaign alluded to sex tourism in Thailand

source
Thomson Reuters

  • Low-cost carrier AirAsia issued an apology for a controversial campaign which appeared to promote sex tourism in Thailand.
  • The Malaysian airline, which flies to more than 140 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, ran ads with the suggestive slogan “Get off in Thailand.”
  • The airline has since apologized and confirmed it had removed the last of the advertisements.

Low-cost carrier AirAsia issued an apology for a controversial campaign which appeared to promote sex tourism in Thailand.

The Malaysian airline, which flies to more than 140 destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, ran an advertisement with the suggestive slogan “Get off in Thailand.”

The advertisements ran on buses and billboards in the Australian city of Brisbane, SBS reported, including at its international airport.

The budget airline recently announced new flights between Bangkok to Brisbane, which will start from June.

Collective Shout, a grassroots organization which campaigns against the objectification of women, called attention to the advertisement on Monday.

“That this ad is a dog whistle – or megaphone – to sex tourists is not a mistake,” the group said.” The professionals who designed the ad knew what they were doing, the marketing team knew what they were doing, Air Asia knew what they were doing.”

It urged the public to complain to the Brisbane City Council.

An AirAsia spokesperson told SBS that the ads have since been removed.

“We take community feedback extremely seriously and sincerely apologise to those who have raised concerns”.

“The campaign has since ended and our media partners had the last of these advertisements removed yesterday.”