Spirit Airlines has never been shy about exploiting a public figure’s troubles – and the sexier troubles, the better – but did the popular carrier’s latest website promotion playing off Anthony Weiner’s woes cross the line? You be the judge.
Sexual Politics, Sexual Ads
On Wednesday, the New York mayoral candidate admitted once again to “sexting” – an exchange of what CNN called “lusty” sexually-charged messages via social media – an admission that comes more than a year after Weiner resigned from Congress for similar activities.
Spirit wasted little time posting an innuendo-filled ad (see below) animated by a graphic silhouette of a hot dog which left little to the imagination. “This summer the Weiner rises again,” said the text which then invoked one of Weiner’s reported aliases as it continued, “Carlos Danger in a Spirit Airlines Production.” The final words of the ad: “Critics say, Best Acting since Ron Mexico” (an apparent reference to a fake name once reportedly used by another troubled public figure, football player Michael Vick).
Other Celebrities Targeted by Spirit
This isn’t the first time Spirit skewered Democrat Weiner. After his first sexting scandal, the airline asked, “Have You Seen Our Weiner?” However, in what may be a spirit of bi-partisanship, the airline also tweaks Republicans including former presidential candidate Mitt Romney (for his “binders full of women” comment).
Spirit loves sports figures, too. It made fun of Tiger Woods’ marital woes as well as A-Rod’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. The carrier has also run ads referencing Double D’s (supposedly for deep discounts) as well as the racy acronym, MILF (sorry, you’ll have to Google it).
Spirit – Popular and Profitable
FareCompare contacted Spirit to ask some questions about its latest ad but so far there’s been no response. It may be they are letting the latest revenue figures speak for them: According to newly released second quarter figures, Spirit’s net income soared more than 22%, despite all those fees so many travelers say they hate.
As for the ads, perhaps the airline subscribes to the view that there is no such thing as bad publicity. That’s probably not the case for candidate Weiner though he has so far resisted calls to leave the New York City mayoral race. Could Spirit’s latest ad change his mind? We’d love to hear what you think.