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Friday, 21 November 2008


Just a year on from its Britney Spears style ad of a scantily clad school girl was formally reprimanded, Ryanair has again done the dirty in a desperate bid for profits and pimped out its "sexiest" airline stewards in a "bare all" calendar.

You might like to read my Guardian Comment is Free article on Ryanair's advertising, or vote in the poll on the left.

The sexy calendar features Ryanair's staff posing in skimpy bikinis wielding hoses and sprawling across aircrafts. But worse still the links I received in a promotional email took me to a YouTube soft porn-style video of Ryanair staff being stroked by greased-up men and scintillating camera close-ups. I received this depressing advert in a spam email, with no age limit, to titillate its customers to "click on the video link to bare all". Be warned!

On a serious note, these women have no access to trade union representation. Ryanair does not recognise any worker organisation and accordingly no trade union has been able to establish itself in Ryanair to defend cabin crew. Even though some of these women could be happy to take part, who do they turn to if they're not?


Martin Meenagh said...

There is a point here. I know no customer of Ryan air who has not had some horrible experience with baggage, rescheduling, or complaints. I have heard stories of staff being worked like crazy in order to hold down average costs, and exploited to the back teeth. Concentrating on a few young women getting their kit off for money, when we should really be holding Ryan air to proper labour standards and just leaving sleaze to the conscience of individuals, strikes me as an absurdly misplaced and self-indulgent practice of identity politics.

This is why the left lost the battles and why the miners, steelworkers, carworkers, and families go down; because people of influence focus on things that are narcissitically interesting to them rather than following the money.

The best pro-woman policy is a pro-person policy for jobs, labour standards, and the economic regulation of companies. Campaigns based on sex, like sex itself, will just make a fool of everyone since it makes fools of us all.

Martin Meenagh said...

On a second reading of this post, you make the point I did. I think you deserve credit for that, and I want to record that.

Ryanair's advertising depends upon focussing people upon controversy so that they do not see the glaring faults. I think that Ryanair's treatment of unions is outrageous, so well done for noting it.