Airline accused of taking the low road (Photo: Facebook)
Vietnamese airline VietJet is getting slammed for an alleged promotional campaign featuring lingerie-wearing models.
A popular Vietnamese lingerie model posted the images on her Facebook page over the weekend, claiming they were a promo shoot for VietJet.
The pics are provoking a hot reaction on social media, but not in the way the airline would like. Critics are accusing VietJet of objectifying women. Flight attendant Heather Poole, author of “Cruising Altitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet,” recently wrote about the sexual harassment she and her fellow flight attendants face. She went off on VietJet on Twitter.
I’ve never scolded an airline until today. @VietjetairCom, you should be ashamed of yourself marketing Iingerie models as fight attendants.
— Heather Poole (@Heather_Poole)
"It’s ridiculous that an airline would hire lingerie models to impersonate flight attendants, in lingerie, on the job," Poole tells Yahoo Travel in an email. "That just invites unwanted attention and sends the wrong message. We’re there for safety! Or…are we? Hard to tell by the red garter belts and push-up bras."
The pics were “leaked” on social media this weekend. Is it a PR stunt? (Photo: Facebook)
VietJet’s gotten busted for sexually-themed stunts before. It used bikini dancers to celebrate new routes both last May and in 2012 (that 2012 stunt earned the airline a huge fine by Vietnamese air regulators).
A VietJet executive is denying these latest pictures were from any kind of formal, official campaign. He says they were from a “trial shoot” for a promotional campaign the airline is considering.
The exec also denies the sexy photos were intentionally leaked as a publicity stunt — because, of course, no one would ever do such a thing.
That explanation isn’t doing anything to calm the criticism. ”Whether it was a trial shoot or not, the fact that those photos even exist is ridiculous and an embarrassment for anyone in my profession,” Poole says. “It’s an embarrassment to women in general.”