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back to article Ryanair battles ASA over 'saucy schoolgirl' ad

Ryanair has locked horns with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a newspaper advert featuring a "saucy schoolgirl", the BBC reports. Ryanair advert featuring saucy schoolgirl The advert punting cheap flights, which appeared in the Herald, Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Mail, shows a teen temptress (right) with the …

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Paris Hilton

Likely to cause...

...widespread and serious trouser management issues, more like.

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Paris Hilton

Good advertising

So, let me get this straight... they placed an advert in a few newspapers, which a couple of people complained about.

As a result of their complaints, loads more people saw it (when the ASA didn't like it).

As a result of this withdrawal request, a lot more people will see it.

By refusing to comply with the ASA, even more people will see it.

So to conclude, publishing a controversial ad, then refusing to withdraw it is the best way to reach the widest demographic.

Something seems wrong there.

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Anonymous Coward

complain

Because 13 people complained, we are not allowed to watch a hot schoolgirl?

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Anonymous Coward

mmm

delicious. I'd hit it!

She's no school girl.

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what about britney?

Seriously... somebody wants to complain this is provocative... has anyone seen britneys first music video? She was if I remember rightly 15 at the time...

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Ryanair are always doing this type of thing.

Ryanair have had adverts baned and criticised on a regular basis for years, including several last year. The result is they then get a shit load of free publicity, just like this piece in the Register.

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Nice

When I read this story on the BBC website earlier I was disappointed they hadn't included the picture. I knew I could count on The Register to satisfy my requirements.

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Anonymous Coward

Entirely legal, surely?

I mean there's no way she's a schoolgirl at the moment.

Also, I'd accept their argument that there's worse things in the same issues of the same papers. And that the ASA- and all censors- are a bunch of eejits.

By all means point out that it could be offensive, but if it's legal DON'T censor it.

It begs the question- who'd find that offensive?! I mean she's not overly skinny, she's got a great face & body, and she looks pretty healthy and all the "rude bits" are fully covered by opaque fabrics so you can't see anything. There's nothing offensive or even particularly "bad influence"-y about it. Hell, that skirt's longer than the ones you see actual schoolgirls going about in during summer!

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Flame

Missing the point

RyanAir are agressively (and, imho, deliberately) missing the point, aren't they?

It's not about how clothed or unclothed the model is - It's the association with under-age school-girls. And how about that crap about "fashionable among young women"? Do Brit 20-somethings really dress like Britney Spears, or is the RyanAir spokesthing lying through his crooked teeth?

Sorry, but few things rile me up quite as quickly as PR-bods faking outrage

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how very benetton, FCUK...

Dont these guys consider their brand image.. the ad might not be so bad to most people, doesnt bother me. However you will still associate the base level of the ad to their brand.

So the fact they kick off with the ASA makes me place them in the gutter level of companies, ie dont care.. and therefore wont care about me if I was on their plane and further strengthens the fact I would never fly with them.

Looking at the sales of French Connection since they started their FCUK stuff, they are now seen as a cheap and chav clothing brand. I dont know anybody that will shop there now.

Cheap flash in the pan tricks, in the long run cost you dearly...

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Happy

Uniformly unsuitable?

What have school uniform standards dropped to!

<cough>

J

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Happy

So how the Hell ...

did the St Trinion's movie get advertised then.

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Stop

Non comprende

So it's okay for Britney Spears to make a shed load of cash sexualising the schoolgirl image in her videos which are repeated endlessly on public television (thereby exciting poor old Alistair Campbell to a frenzy of pop worshipfulness) around the world.

And it's okay for the 2006 UK Eurovision entry to represent schoolgirls sexually writhing over their desks to a really dire piece of crap rap (before being soundly trounced by the more artistically creative Lordi).

But 13 people found this rather tame image "offensive"?

Who died? Who was injured? Who was cheated? Where was society, or any members of it, harmed or defrauded?

I think those 13 people should be told to &^%$ Off and get a life!

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Anonymous Coward

I ARES REQUIRED TITLE

can we somehow anti-complain to the ASA?

"dear ASA, i really liked this advert, it got across an appropriate message in a reasonable fashion.

lots of love

blokes wot like schoolgirls"

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Boffin

cheap publicity

ryanair are masters of this sort of thing:

step 1: push boundaries until someone complains

step 2: wait patiently for authorities to react

step 3: act all aggreived and baffled and issue sarcastic statement

step 4: watch as media give it wide coverage, worth orders of

magnitude more than initial add

step 5: watch the cash roll in

i'd rather stick pins in my eyes than fly with these b*stards, but you can't help but admire their gall.

ryanair's full response is worth a chuckle (link), as are many of their other news releases.

http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/news.php?yr=08&month=jan&story=reg-en-300108-2

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Flame

ryanair ads should be banned on principle

The sooner the flying weasels are out of business the better.

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What am I missing?

So the ad "appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour"?

Somewhat akin to linking ursidae mammals with habitual woodland defaecation?

All enjoyably farcical. My favourite bit is when Ryanair says "nah, we're not gonna". I bet a lot of other advertisers didn't even realise that was an option...

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Dan
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Am I going to hell...

...for thinking she looked good? No, because there's no way she's school age. As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

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@ how very benetton, FCUK...

"Dont these guys consider their brand image.. the ad might not be so bad to most people, doesnt bother me. However you will still associate the base level of the ad to their brand."

Dude, it's Ryan Air - you were never going to bump into the Crown Prince of Brunei on a budget flight to Malaga.

Frankly, the "base level" of the ad is spot on for Ryanair.

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Schoolgirls

I think some of you people are confusing depiction with reality. Do you have kids? It does not matter if the woman is "legal", it is the depiction of her as an hottie underage girl who is dodgy. "page 3 stunnas" are not represented as under age school girls (afaik).

It's a shame Ryanair get the publicity though, its an irresponsible company as it is.

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Happy

@Chad H

Why the downer on RyanAir? I have flown with them many times with absolutely no complaints. Their surcharges are all obvious on the website, so if you are not happy with them fly with someone else. If you check in online and just take a carry on bag they are usually the cheapest way of getting from A to B. They fly from my local airport and the only delay I have ever had was about 30 minutes due to an issue with air traffic control, not the airline.

Accept the service for what it is - Cheap, cheerful, zero frills - and they are great. If this isn't what you want then you can pay the (substantial) extra to fly with BA or go by train.

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@Stuart Van Onselen

"....And how about that crap about "fashionable among young women"? Do Brit 20-somethings really dress like Britney Spears, or is the RyanAir spokesthing lying through his crooked teeth?"

You've not been out in a large-ish British city in the evenings recently, have you?

In other words, yes, female brit 20-somethings (and 30-somethings and *shudder* 40 and 50-somethings, not to mention the ones which are 20-something STONE) do dress like that. A few can carry it off and look good. Most look like old sheep dressed as young sheep.

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Good for them

There is no way any reasonable person would look at this model and believe she is under 18. This is not kiddie pron and doesn't encourage anybody over or underage to commit any crime. What boundary does this push that hasn't been pushed multiple times before?

Good on Ryanair for standing up to the ASA and the anti-pedo hysteria brigade.

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The picture is not offensive per se, but...

...it is offensive in the context of an advertisement for air flights.

The days when scantily-clad women were used to attract men to look at adverts (because women didn't buy anything, so it didn't matter if it offended them) are long gone. There may only have been thirteen complaints, but I suspect that most women (and many men) who looked at this just raised their eyes to heaven, thought "How peurile!" and made a mental note to move RyanAir down their list of cheap flight suppliers.

And RyanAir, by refusing to abide by the ASA's code of conduct, are hardly behaving in a adult fashion. But then, the advert itself doesn't indicate that they are an adult company.

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Yum! Sauce?

I *always* link teenagers with sexually provocative behaviour.

IT angle? Who cares?!

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Coat

Please Miss...

She's obviously not teenage, so I have to assume that she's the teacher. I'm sure I need some remedial education in something. Anything.

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Sexually provocative behavior?

Mr. Sherrard's comments are spot-on. In a country where you print topless women in your freely-available (non-age-restricted) newspapers and websites, a fully-clothed women is considered offensive? Why? It is because she *IS* wearing clothes and you have to *IMAGINE* what she looks like naked?

Simply put, people can (and will) be offended by anything. If you're specifically looking to be offended, you will be. Many fat people are "offended" by skinny people (such as this model). Does that mean we should ban all pictures of skinny people, too?

I would question what exactly the ASA considers "sexually provocative behavior". If the word "HOTTEST" is considered "sexually provocative", they they really have a problem. Are the words "attractive", "cute", or "adorable" equally "provocative"? 'Tis a slippery slope, indeed.

You guys are getting to be as prudish (and ridiculous) as us over here in the US.

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I agree with Stuart

Paedophilia is not funny and it's not clever.

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Coat

I thought this was a joke but...

...maybe it's true: The real reason for paedophilia is sexy kids.

The ASA certainly seem to think so

Mine's the mackintosh and Cosmo Smallpiece glasses.

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Unhappy

St Trinnians

So its not ok to have an obviously no school girl dressed like that, but it is OK to have a whole film of girls dressed like that - I am OFC talking about St trinians, all of the films, not just the latest one. FFS this sort of thing was ok in the 50's - just look at the original St Trinians films with Alastair Sim and George Cole, all the older girls wore stuff alot more provocative than that.

methinks the ASA needs to pull it's collective thumb out of its bum, take a step back and take a good long look at itself

nice pic of the gilr though, and yes i would hit it

oh and whilst we are on the subject - IT angle?

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Paris Hilton

@how very benetton, FCUK...

er.. have you ever flown ryanair? they don't care, the seats are shit, you have to fight for one, the lounge sucks, you pay for everything, there's screamingly load advertising everywhere, and it's a yellow plane.

you want good service go for ba or virgin. ryanair don't care about those customers, they sell cheap flights to people who don't want to pay a lot, so this ad kinda goes straight to the right people. seems like perfectly good advertising to me

paris, cause even she wouldn't travel by ryanair even if they have her free tickets and it was the last plane on earth

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Anonymous Coward

If I were Ryanair...

Id be trawling through a certain tabloids archives looking for a page3 model dressed like a schoolgirl. Im sure in the years theyve been publishing risque pics theres bound to be one or two dressed in a similar manner, and if thats acceptable why not the RyanAir advert?

Much as im not a fan of Ryanair, Id have to say I would trust them over the ASA. Has anyone actually managed to get any action out of the ASA for a valid non-controversial reason? I have. I complained about a company who advertised at one price and sold at another. They didnt want to know!

And finally, to everyone who said "Id hit that", "shes definately not a schoolgirl" etc, I agree. Thanks Reg, for publishing the pic.

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Stop

The REAL Issue...is much wider.

Listen fellow posters, there is a more serious issue associated with this Ryanair dodginess... Why is it acceptable generally for us to be attracted to, and 'joke' about, women who are above school age but wear school uniforms? I can see why the advertisement is offensive to some; but in society I find the British attitude to schoolgirls who are actually schoolwomen a bit hypocritical...

The British press has a problem with reporting on peadophilia accurately, but then it's suddenly fine and dandy for a large company to have a tongue in cheek joke about naughty schoolgirls, who aren't girls nor at school, but that because of that it's ok to pretend they're at school, but not really. WHAT?! Not only does none of the theory make real sense, in a real mature society it just should not be acceptable to joke about something that is basically playing on the fact that schoolgirls can look mature and be found attractive by some men when they're actually likely only 16 years old. Putting an older model in those clothes and joking on the fact she's being 'naughty' whilst also being a youngster at school isn't amusing or acceptable, because it's implying that 16 year old girls who dress a bit provocatively enjoy the same thing.

It's very convoluted subject, but I have to say I don't think it's okay to have page3 in rubbish newspapers not worthy of the 10pence they ask, and again it's not alright to play on the supposed schoolgirl sexual allure to make more cash in the world.

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Some-one learned a new word

Just read the ryanair press release on their web site, and I can only assume some-one is tickled pink by the word qango. I think the use it about every second word, do you think they are trying to get some point across.

Flown with ryanair once to Glasgow Prestwick airport, sorry but somebody should point out Prestwick is a long long way from Glasgow. Easyjet fly to Glasgow Airport which is about 10 mins by car (outside rush hour) from Glasgow.

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pick the paper

to advertise in to ensure that at least one person would complain. How many 'Sun' readers would complain?

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Strike one for RyanAir

"This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising."

Way to go, guys! Plus your tabloid-cheap Sarko+dumbwit ad here in France was also worth a chuckle. Serves our attention-grabbing joke of a president right.

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Anonymous Coward

@Stuart Van Onselen

'It's not about how clothed or unclothed the model is - It's the association with under-age school-girls.'

Who said anything about under age school-girls? As far as I can remember most people finish school after their 16th birthday which is the age of consent in the UK

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Anonymous Coward

blah blah

almost every guy wants to bang a hot chick in a school uniform.

As long as it's legal - hit it.

Although nowdays as a guy you get done for rape if she's had a drink. Donesn't matter how much the guy has had though...

You get done for rape if you bang a chick from a nightclub and she turns out to be too young.

I think soon you'll get done for rape if you fap to porn whilst thinking about someone you know.

Also they want to charge you for fapping to child porn if you fap to drawings.

So I suppose fantasising about woman in school uniforms by todays standards means you want to have sex with preteens in the eyes of the moral elite, the police and the government.

*yawns* Soon unless your fantasising about government sanctioned females with the females full concent you'll be in breach of some form of law.

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Chavair

This advert shows me exactly the type of person I could be sitting next to if I booked a flight with them.

Essentially wearing sportswear but never having played sports. Am I allowed to say Chavs?

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Paris Hilton

Little Miss RyanAir

"This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits"

I love RyanAir. Ever since their reaction to airport security restrictions, they've had my utmost respect.

So based on this new Calvinistic approach, will they now pull all the adverts for The Garage nightclub that feature photos from thier "school disco" night? Or any such club night for that matter?

Besides... the number of teenage pregnancies in the UK is more likely to show school girls as being promiscuous than this advert is. Dirty buggers!

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Anonymous Coward

Perspective

Whether Ryan Air are likable or not, surely the issue is that in the 1000s or 100,000s of copies of these newspapers that were read..... 13 people felt strongly enough to complain that this advertisment offended them.

We shouldn't judge anyone by our own standards, if they were offended then that's the case.

-But-

Did it *really* warrant the might of the ASA to undertake an investigation, which must have cost enough to keep a small country fed for weeks??????

Just how many people have to complain before they spring into action?

No pic - there doesn't seem to be one for 'blinkered'.

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Sigh

Stuart said: "RyanAir are agressively (and, imho, deliberately) missing the point, aren't they?

It's not about how clothed or unclothed the model is - It's the association with under-age school-girls. And how about that crap about "fashionable among young women"? Do Brit 20-somethings really dress like Britney Spears, or is the RyanAir spokesthing lying through his crooked teeth?

Sorry, but few things rile me up quite as quickly as PR-bods faking outrage"

And I generally concur.

It's all about the context. Ryanair are an offensive bunch, full stop. They offend with their general tawdriness, mendacity, smirking hypocrisy and shameless headline-grabbage. They're the corporate equivalent of a starlet 'accidentally' flashing her pants at the paps every damn night. Boo to them.

No, objectively it's not *that* offensive, but still I do weary of this kind of crap and the tatty circus it creates. There's an utterly terrifying van that comes around here delivering canned tuna, with a cleavage-tastic blonde on the side saying 'Chunky?' or 'Flakey'? I mean... what is that? Whuh? Did I miss a meeting?

But I realise this is neither the time nor the place to start passing comment on the use of sex (i.e. provocatively-presented females) in advertising. Noooo.

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Wouldn't happen in Japan

I can 'sort of' see where the ASA is coming from - you'd not visit a website about "sexy school children" and not expect to be stalked by the paedo-hunter general, caught, hung, drawn, quartered and burnt at the stake.

But, really, the whole "sexy schoolgirl" thing is nothing new, see:

Just about any Manga film (the Japanese are big into their schoolgirl fantasies)

Music videos - including Britney Spears and Aerosmith

St. Trinians

Not to mention the old Chilli's song "Catholic schoolgirls rule" and I wouldn't risk a Google search on "school girls".

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Heart

I love Ryanair

I am old enough to remember when airlines used to shaft us. You needed a second mortgage to fly a scheduled flight, and ordinary folk used trains and boats. After Ryanair, you fly anywhere for the price of a round of drinks. It's no surprise that they have become one of the largest airlines in the world. People who complain about them yearn for the old days, when you paid vast amounts of money for pointless services. And you did not have to rub shoulders with common folk.

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ASA & Ryanair - hats Off to Ryanair

Full marks to Ryanair for standing up to the ASA. As they say, they are "unelected" and "self appointed ". If they were "dimwits" life for the rest of us would be much easier. Unfortunately they appear to be either 'spineless' - for not standing up to 14 whingers out of a pool of 60 million - or carrying the flag for a puritan agenda sometimes associated with stroppy feminist groups.

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@Paul Stimpson and many others....

The point is that the advertisement is offensive, not that the picture is.

It's offensive on so many levels.

1) It's offensive to me that RyanAir think that I am so shallow that stupid Sun-level jokes should appeal to me.

2) It's offensive in general terms, in this day and age, to use a woman as a sexual symbol to sell air flights. It's reasonable for, say, underwear or perfume - not reasonable for air travel.

3) It's offensive to single and/or working women that the assumption of this advertisement is that the people who buy flights are men, and women just tag along.

And bleating about censorship is missing the point entirely.

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@A/C

Maybe you need to learn the difference between reality and fantasy.

Fact: Watching a horror movie does not turn most normal people into axe murderers

Fact: Watching a War movie doesn't turn you into evil dictator or heroic general

Fact: Watching a car chase scene doesn't turn you into a joyrider

but seeing an adult in a school uniform turns you into pedo? get a grip, stop this "Think of the Children" bollocks

But then again, I guess the millions of people that have gone to the "School Disco" nights are all a bunch of kiddie fiddlers.

Oh one more little fatc for you:

FACT: Most child abuse is commited by people known to the child, not complete strangers. So I'd be more warey of your relatives being left alone with your kids than guys who like the model ;-)

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Nature of Problem

The model in the photograph is clearly over 20.

But because she is wearing a plaid skirt, and quite low about the hips, it can indeed be said that this ad might serve to stir up sexual interest in underage schoolgirls.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, there used to be quite a bit of advertising that was justly criticized by feminists as "demeaning to women", and I can perfectly well understand why some women would like it known that women do not exist simply to keep house, mind children, and provide intimate companionship.

Just as African-Americans don't exist just to shine shoes and pick cotton.

Sometimes this political correctness stuff gets taken way too far, but toning down the negative influence of advertising isn't entirely a bad idea

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Hmm

A friend of mine is a 52 year old transvestite with a passion for school uniforms. I think this advert is discriminatory towards school uniform wearing transvestites and rightly deserves to be banned.

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Coat

We need ryan air

@Chad H

We need Ryan air to keep the chav scum off the airlines I prefer to fly on.

</coat>

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