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Ryanair slammed for 'sexist' bikini calendar

Oliver Gee · 17 Feb 2012, 13:30

Published: 17 Feb 2012 13:30 GMT+01:00

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The calendar, released in November, was the 2012 edition of Ryanair’s Cabin Crew Charity Calendar, featuring scantily clad Ryanair stewardesses.

In December, the Swedish Advertising Ombudsman (Reklamombudsmannen – RO) reported having received a barrage of complaints from irate Swedes about the advertisements promoting the calendar.

According to many, the racy images of women in lingerie accompanied by text reading “Our prices are red hot” with a subnote “and our staff” were derogatory toward women.

All told, the agency received complaints from a total of 56 individuals, as well as from the two pro-gender equality organizations.

At the time, Ryanair spokesperson Stephen McNamara defended the calendar, despite the flood of complaints from angry Swedes.

"Ryanair's cabin crew calendar has raised €500,000 ($672,000) for charity in just five years and we will continue to support the right of our crew to take their clothes off to raise money for those who need it most," he told The Local in December.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday, however, the watchdog proclaimed that the advertising campaign was “sexist”.

According to the ombudsman, the women featured in the calendar had "no relation" to the products being advertised and that "through their clothing and poses the women are being protrayed as pure sex objects".

Story continues below…

As such, the adverts present women in an "offensive manner" and could be considered sexist, therefore constituting a breach of Article 4 of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Consolidated Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication.

Ryanair has now been given the opportunity to comment, but has not responded as yet, according to a statement from the ombudsman.

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:49 February 17, 2012 by byke
I am sure if you had a few more arian looking blondes, draped in yellow and blue and somehow associated with a brand that is considered swedish. It would have been regarded as free speech and defended to the fullest with absolute pride. And further claiming that any other nation that was offended was pompous followed through with some sort of nationalistic smear.

15:21 February 17, 2012 by dockmandock
As has been mentioned before regarding this story, the "flood" and "barrage" of complaints was from 56 people.

If Oliver Gee regards 56 people as a "flood" and "barrage", what adjectives will he draw upon if another matter receives 20,000 complaints?
15:29 February 17, 2012 by the fonz
Who cares? I think it's great!
15:31 February 17, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
OMG - thanks to Byke - great link! How do I get one of these calendars?
15:38 February 17, 2012 by Frobobbles
Women are pretty. That is not allowed. That is why swedish feminism goes so well with the mass influx of people from cultures where women walk around hidden in tents.
16:03 February 17, 2012 by acidcritic
Put also men in the bikini-clad advertisments and the acusation of sexism will lose its appeal. On the other hand, I am a convinced "sexist" becouse I like women in formal dresses, I also like women in bikini and I like women nude too. What is bad in that?
16:06 February 17, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Hmmm.... maybe I'll be crucified for writing this, but it's a Friday afternoon so I'll just go ahead:

Is it not time that a psychologist steps forward and suggests that perhaps different definitions of 'sexist' are required for men and women?

For example some women are attracted to finely groomed men in Hugo Boss suits, surrounded by trappings of success, like fine cars etc...

Accordingly for men having limited income who could not afford a jag and a Hugo Boss suit, perhaps these men should be able to complain to the Ombudsman that an add that shows men this way is 'sexist' in that it portrays men having a traditional form sex appeal (for women) that some men are financially unable to compete with.
16:18 February 17, 2012 by stevo1
56 responses from several million swedes - clearly a very small minority. Say nothing Ryan Air and keep raising funds (half million euros) for charity. Will the feminists groups cough the same amount of cash for these charities? doubt it!
16:31 February 17, 2012 by zooeden
Get a life, that´s why we have terrorists and you lesbians care about chicks in bikinis!!!!
16:42 February 17, 2012 by Svensksmith
Air Arabia has much less revealing calendars.
17:37 February 17, 2012 by foxpur
To be honestly fair, they should offer a "Compliment" line to show that the number of those in disagreement is VASTLY different.
18:22 February 17, 2012 by Trenatos
Bah, what's the damn problem?

Why is it that as soon as a women is shown with little clothing it's "sexist" or "derogatory towards women".

People need to stop being so easily offended :P
18:40 February 17, 2012 by Beavis
Your right Swedish Advertising standards morons, and they very very very stupid people who complained about 5 million kr going to charity. Just be glad it was not an SAS calender!
18:43 February 17, 2012 by Opinionfool
Exactly the same result with the English Advertising Standards Authority who ruled this calendar as offensive earlier this week.

@byke how'd get that link in your comment?
19:23 February 17, 2012 by spy
Why weren't there any fat people in the pictures???

This entire calendar is based on LOOKISM which is a term used to refer to discrimination against or prejudice towards others based on their appearance.

it is outrageous and I am going to make a complaint to the advertising ombudsman.
19:46 February 17, 2012 by Swedishmyth
God bless the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. As uniquely good as it is unique.
21:04 February 17, 2012 by Mb 65
When is Sweden going to grow up it's the 21st century for god sake.
21:38 February 17, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
Two feminist dykes does not equal a barrage !
21:51 February 17, 2012 by TheWatchman
I don't see anything sexist here. When I see ads of various men without shirts trying to court a woman, I don't think of sexism.
13:56 February 18, 2012 by cogito
@byke (#1)

Great point.

Moreover, the Ryan ad is better than the Aryan ad.
14:04 February 18, 2012 by Bigd
spot on realism and reason! :)
14:19 February 18, 2012 by tetrahedron
It is strange that there has been so much fuss over this but no-one is doing much to try to stop online porn, which is far more degrading to both women and men and is easily accessible to children at the click of a switch.

Has anyone else noticed society's bizarre double standards over the last 10 years?
19:09 February 18, 2012 by calebian22
A barrage of complaints from fat women, who are jealous that they never looked that fine. Wow, color me surprised.
21:10 February 18, 2012 by Swedish Meatbulls
I hope the girls enjoy Becks in his Swedish H&M underware .. And why not?
12:01 February 19, 2012 by Abe L
Beavis is right, be VERY happy it is not a SAS calendar as it would have caused nightmares and lack of appetite for a month. I can't stand Ryanair in any way and would never use their services, but it's a disgrace that SAS - the airline from the countries with the most beautiful women on earth - only employs mingers that are well over their expiration date.

Thankfully there are still airlines such as this one and Virgin that employ good looking women that make the flying experience so much better.
18:47 February 19, 2012 by Prestonrobsun
Nope, still won't fly Ryanair even if the stewardesses were 'tits-out'.

Did it for a while, flying cramped-up to remote airfields miles from Stockholm but the experience was horrible so I've moved back to BA and civilised Arlanda.

Haven't flown SAS since they jacked up the fares and jacked down the on-board service. Planes are pretty elderly too.
22:01 February 19, 2012 by DAVID T
Maybe next year we get flange shots
00:24 February 20, 2012 by GLO
Love it, freedom ........
09:01 February 20, 2012 by hejsweden
where can i get my copy from??

very nice looking young ladies!!
13:39 February 20, 2012 by mickylee
It does have a bit of a 50's 'Mad Men' vibe to it. But that's hardly the worst one can say about Ryan Air...
14:22 February 20, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
Most of their cabin personal are under 25 as they pay such crappy wages, so they`d find no shortage of lassies willing to strip off to get some attention. Of course to keep the PC feminists happy they could have put in a few blokes....at least that would have kept all the Stureplan gayboys happy...:-)...otherwise a cowboy company...not the kind of arline you use whilst in employment.
13:19 February 26, 2012 by dan_sparrow
just take a look how swedish women behave abroad during their vacation... this calendar its 100% conservative lol
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