Spirit Air sells sex with your mom

Spirit Air, an airline company that I’m pretty sure I’ll be ignoring from here on, has a new marketing campaign: “M.I.L.F.” Ostensibly, it stands for “More Islands, Low Fares.” But ask anybody under the age of 40, and “M.I.L.F.” has another meaning: Mom I’d Like [to] F–k. See the picture to get a better view of what I’m talking about. The reclining woman below appears for less than a second before morphing into generic islands. Sexist Spirit Air Ad

But when people discovered this pathetic excuse for an ad and complained about it, Spirit Air’s response was to outright lie about it! From ABC:

[Spirit Air Director of Communications] Arbelaez said that Spirit’s senior vice president of pricing is a British citizen who was unfamiliar with the MILF terminology and that the airline is not trying to offend customers.

Riiiiight.

Okay, here’s the thing. It’s one thing to have disgusting, sexist, cheap, and tawdry advertising for your company or product. The point of this post is not to condemn that sort of advertising outright, though it should be condemned. The point here is to call Spirit Air out for having the audacity to actually lie about their efforts here. For some inexplicable reason, they are claiming that this clear, deliberately-sexist advertisement was entirely accidental.

Bullshit. Sorry, Spirit Air, you can’t have it both ways. Engage in the objectification of women for your advertising purposes, and be condemned rightly for it–but don’t try and insult the intelligence of the rest of us in the process.

To contact Spirit Air and tell them to ‘go MILF themselves’:

Spirit Airlines
2800 Executive Way
Miramar, FL 33025
ATTN: Corporate Consumer Affairs

Update: Commenter Charlie points out that the new ad campaign is “Barely Legal.”  Complete with a classy emphasis on 18 year old models cent fares.

Wow, that’s classy.   For a good sense of what Spirit Air is trying to associate themselves with, type “barely legal 18” into Google and see what happens…

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6 Responses to “Spirit Air sells sex with your mom”

  1. Tasha Says:

    Wow. From their director of communications, Juan Arbelaez: “The most obscene thing we’ve noticed is what other carriers have charged to fly the Caribbean before Spirit’s $9 fares.” Har har. Almost as amusing as the fact that the islands in the promo are placed in the shape of a reclining woman.

    Come on — companies don’t use acronyms unless there’s some already some underlying familiarity. And even if no one in the entiiiiiire organization was aware of the connotation, some research should have been done before going live with the idea.

  2. Tom Ryberg Says:

    You raise good points, Tasha. Also, sure seems to me that “Many Islands Low Fares” is a pretty crappy slogan. It’s too clunky to be a genuine stab at something original. No, Spirit Air knew what they were doing (hello, look at their own freakin’ flash ad!)–and they simply don’t have the decency or courage to own up to it.

  3. FranIAm Says:

    You know – that is so wrong at so many levels. I am far from a prude – but this is completely offensive.

    Yes- I am sure that the terminology was a complete and total coincidence. Yes indeed.

    I don’t have the time to google it now, but I recently read (I think in the NYTimes) that there was a big deal over at Spirit due to a big screw up.

    A customer had written an angry email about awful service and the CEO meant to send an internal only email but it went to everyone – including the unhappy customer.

    It said something to the effect that the customer could take a leap. Basically – you can have low fares or decent service, but not both. And that all the nasty letters wouldn’t hurt Spirit due to their low fares. Nice.

    That is a problem of what I call the Church of the Market. When money is the god, well- you know.

    Ugh.

  4. Andria Says:

    Tom,
    I think this post offers an interesting commentary, but I wonder why this advertising campaign is particularly offensive to you, in an age where so much marketing is based on sexual images. Is it simply because Spirit is probably lying about knowing the connotation of the MILF acronym? Because, corporations are also often deceitful. Just wondering…

    I’d love to hear your take on Mitt Romney’s speech yesterday, especially this comment: “I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from the God who gave us liberty, nor would I separate us from our religious heritage.”

  5. Mike Huckabee: Disingenuous « Reflections on faith, politics, and society. Says:

    […] on Congress Assaults Christianity…Tasha on Congress Assaults Christianity…Andria on Spirit Air sells sex with your…FranIAm on Spirit Air sells sex with […]

  6. Charlie Says:

    I was looking through this and noticed how dated the posts are… Spirit just re-launched their M.I.L.F sale in last months “special promotions” then today I get their new one and the catch phrase is “Barely Legal” a very well known Hustler owned and distributed smut line… does Spirit seriously think this is not completely transparent? Go to spiritair.com today and see the new ad for yourself… just crazy


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