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”.
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.