Yesterday I sent a letter to the Advertising Standards Authority, complaining about Ryanair’s latest derogatory ad campaign. Please feel free to use this letter as a template if you would also like to write to the ASA and to register your complaint.

Advertising Standards Authority
Mid City Place
71 High Holborn
24 September 2008
Dear Sir / Madam

RE: Ryanair’s Charity Calendar Advertisements

I recently received a publicity email from Ryanair, which included a large advertisement for their 2009 charity calendar featuring semi-naked female cabin crew. The advert also included a link to a ‘soft-porn’ style video on the making of the Ryanair calendar.

This advertising appears to contravene paragraphs 2.2 (social responsibility) and 5.1 (decency) of the non-broadcast CAP code.

I have highlighted some issues below that are of particular concern:

o Have Ryanair checked that the recipients of this mass email are not minors? If not then they are ignoring their social responsibility to consumers and the wider public.

o Have all of Ryanair’s staff consented to this calendar being made? This calendar clearly sexualises Ryanair’s female cabin crew and may undermine them professionally. The calendar will, I hope, have been made with the consent of the staff appearing in it. But such advertising will have ramifications for the wider body of staff. It may contravene paragraph 13 of the CAP (protection of privacy). Ryanair does not recognise trade unions, making it vital that their advertising does not adversely affect a body of workers who must remain voiceless.

Ryanair’s advertising has caused wide concern, as can be seen in the facebook campaign group that has been set up to raise awareness of the issue.

I ask you to take up these issues with Ryanair.

Yours faithfully

Mary Honeyball MEP