MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) – Spirit Airlines has made a habit of creative advertising using some of the latest news stories. A few weeks ago, the Airlines had some fun with an ad that poked fun at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his crack. But Spirit’s ad that dealt with bullying and football, ran afoul of the NFL Players Association.
The ad in question told customers, “Don’t be bullied by high fares” and also said, “Fly incognito out of Florida, or any place for that matter.”
The ad included a traveler in a football helmet with Dolphins colors and the obvious inference was to the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito/Harassment saga that has completely enveloped the Dolphins organization.
The NFLPA wrote to Spirit to ask the company to immediately remove the ad and said that the ad was “distasteful, offensive, and pathetic,” and that it showed “horrific judgment” on the part of the airline.
“Many of Spirit’s previous ad campaigns have been assailed as both tasteless and offensive (“Hunt for Hoffa”, “MILF” sale, etc.), but none have stooped to the level of mocking bullying,” the NFLPA wrote in its letter. “Spirit’s ad not only derides NFL players – it ridicules other victims of bullying, most of whom are children.”
“It is beyond comprehension how such an ill-advised ad was calculated to generate more sales. In the end, it is far more likely that Spirit’s ad will prove caustic and cost the company business, barring the immediate acceptance of the terms of this letter.”
The NFLPA also had some fun with spirit writing, “Spirit is free to operate a budget airline, but there is no need to skimp on human decency or a gracious spirit (pun intended.)
The NFLPA asked Spirit to stop the campaign and donate the proceeds of its sale to the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation. The letter was signed by George Atallah, NFLPA assistant executive director for external affairs and Ahmad Nassar, executive Vice President and general counsel for NFL Players Inc.