NFLPA mad as hell over Spirit Airlines ad mocking Richie Incognito mess (photo)
Spirit Airlines, well-known for incorporating controversies, scandals and current pop culture stories into its advertising campaigns, has drawn the ire of the National Football League Players Association for an ad that makes light of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying mess that has been drawing unwanted headlines and attention for both the NFL and the Miami Dolphins since the story broke a few weeks ago.
George Attalah, the Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs at the NFLPA, announced on his Twitter account that the organization has sent a letter to Spirit Airlines demanding that the ad campaign be pulled immediately.
The ad (below), which includes the copy, “Don’t be bullied by high fares” before adding, “Fly incognito out of Florida, or any place for that matter,” also features a man in a football helmet bearing Dolphins colors.
Nothing subtle or unclear about what is being referenced in that ad.
The letter, written by Attalah and Ahmad Nassar, Executive Vice President at NFL Players, Inc., argues that the ad “was ‘distasteful, offensive, and pathetic,’ and that it showed ‘horrific judgment’ on the part of the airline,” according to a CBS Miami report.
CBS Miami’s report also indicates the letter contained the following accusations:
“Many of Spirit’s previous ad campaigns have been assailed as both tasteless and offensive (“Hunt for Hoffa”, “MILF” sale, etc.), but none have stooped to the level of mocking bullying,” the NFLPA wrote in its letter. “Spirit’s ad not only derides NFL players – it ridicules other victims of bullying, most of whom are children.
“It is beyond comprehension how such an ill-advised ad was calculated to generate more sales. In the end, it is far more likely that Spirit’s ad will prove caustic and cost the company business, barring the immediate acceptance of the terms of this letter.”
The letter also demanded that Spirit Airlines make a donation to anti-bullying organization to make amends, a sentiment echoed on Attalah’s Twitter account:
We asked Spirit to make a donation to Anti-Bullying organizations. Let’s see if they do…
— George Atallah (@GeorgeAtallah) November 15, 2013
This isn’t the first time that Spirit Airlines has used football-related controversy as fodder for provocative advertising campaigns. In January of 2013, the airline mocked and ridiculed the Manti T’eo fake girlfriend hoax saga to promote its cheap fares.