A U.S. airline launched an advertising campaign depicting
four women surrounding an agent.
The advertisement was released by low-cost U.S. carrier
Spirit Airlines, which makes reference to the scandal involving Secret Service
agents with President Barack Obama and prostitutes in Cartagena. The ad invites
people to visit Cartagena to obtain sex.
In the foreground, the ad shows a man wearing an earphone in
dark glasses (similar to those worn by Secret Service agents) putting a finger over
his lips in a gesture of silence, with four women behind him wearing pink
swimsuits. On its Web site, the airline advertises flights from Fort Lauderdale
to La Heroica (Cartagena).
The campaign features the slogan, "More Bang for Your Buck.”
In English, the word “bang” is used to refer to sex, which implies that the ad
is promoting the idea of “more sex for your money.”
The Colombian federal government has already reacted to the
issue. On its Web site, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism noted
that the person in charge of that portfolia, Sergio Diaz-Granados,
has discussed the matter with Spirit’s North American director, Manuel Jaquez.
According to Diaz-Granados, "This kind of subliminal
advertising is, to say the least, inappropriate and improper, and should be immediately
withdrawn from the U.S. airline’s Web site.
Meanwhile, the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism (ANATO) has reported that the
airline promotes tours to Cartagena for the purposes of obtaining sex.
In a press release, ANATO categorically
rejects what has occurred: "Such advertising not only opportunistically takes
advantage of events involving Secret Service agents on President Barack Obama’s
staff in Cartagena, which occurred before the Sixth Summit of the Americas, but
it directly damages the destination and investors who believed in holding the Cartagena
Posted by Worldmeets.US
ANATO warns that sex tourism is
one of the sector’s negative practices that travel agencies have been working
against since 2009 by mounting joint campaigns with the federal government.
"It is unacceptable for a North American airline to
encourage such practices to boost the number of travelers," says ANATO President Paula Cortez Street.
Finally, ANATO publicly demanded that
the airline conduct itself in accordance with good business practices and
regretted that management permitted a campaign with such a negative impact on
the city’s image.
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