Spirit Airlines MILF and DD ads: right or wrong?

I just learned that Spirit Airlines‘ flight attendants are or were protesting ads that use the acronyms DD’s [deep discounts] and “MILF” [many islands, low fare]. Many of you will know that DD can also refer to bra or breast size and MILF can be “Mom I’d Like to F*ck.”

I wanted to see the ads for myself before making a judgement. A youtube search turned up this interview with Spirit’s president, Ben Baldanza. Around 1:15 as the interview begins, something very funny happens. Baldanza says that Spirit is very proud to offer “low service” – he probably meant low-cost service…

I think I found the actual ad but I also found other bloggers talking about it as far back as Dec. 2007. I think Spirit used the MILF ads before and are now using them again:

So what do you think? Is Spirit doing something wrong here? Or is the ad OK and should the flight attendants stop complaining?

Flight attendants are also complaining that they have been turned into walking billboards with demeaning advertisements for light beer. Apparently they are now required to wear a bud light patch on their aprons:

What do you think about these aprons? An OK way to make money and save flight attendants’ jobs? Or demeaning flight attendants and making it harder for them to stop serving alcohol to people getting drunk on the flight?

Filed Under: Tourism marketing

About the Author

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rod J says:

    Tell the offended attendants to watch a soccer game and pay particular note to the jerseys. Given the stress their particular industry is under one would think they would welcome the opportunity to increase revenue for it. False pride goeth before the fall.

  2. Chandra U says:

    Women need to feel comfortable within their work environments and if the company is “creating a hostile work environment” by advertising DD ads and forcing them to display beer brands on their breasts while serving customers– links the ads to the demeaning and degrading behaviors. This likely solicits unwanted advances at the stewardesses who are simply looking to earn a paycheck not be pawed/oogled at look at barroom harlot palming her wares.

    Please respect these women’s concerns and allow them to work in a hostile free environment. You could always force the males to put viagara ads on their pants pockets to even the playing field as I am sure a few will find it to be harassing and will complain. Bottom line: Respect your workers and their need to be in a hostile free environment and the advertisements are degrading to women– from a female customers perspective these ads are offensive. Please upgrade your image.

  3. Cherie says:

    The fact that there are at least three adds, “Red Light Special,” “DD,” and “MILF sale” is a little more than coincidence. It is an obvious attempt to play on these words and acronyms and so, yes, it does appear to be demeaning to the flight attendants, (and women in general). I am with the flight attendants and unless Spirit Air responds to them favorably, I will not ever purchase tickets with them and will also encourage the same for everyone I know.

  4. Sharon says:

    I think Spirit needs some marketing assistance. I don’t see beer labels on aprons as appropriate – they could just use a coaster or napkin with a logo instead, less offensive. Never heard of MILF, but again, there must be a better acronym for the airline to use. What about Red Light Specials? Sounds like some sort of brothel advertising…certainly open to misinterpretation – drink beer with us on our red light special…lol..

    Their whole advertising campaign needs some serious help!

  5. james g says:

    Spirit should take that demeaning beer ad off the lady in the photo. She obviously should wear a MILF label.

  6. christie says:

    My previous comment was blocked due to using two words that, I guess, are no-nos. (The two words are erectile dysfuntion medicines that start with via and cial.) Are racecar drivers offended to have those two words on their racecars along with beer and car part manufacturer ads? I assume Bud Light paid the airline for the aprons and/or paid a fee for advertising on them. The flight attendants should be glad to have a job esp in their industry with massive layoffs. They need to get a grip and complain about something truely meaningful.

  7. rockinhorse77 says:

    Now cometh “Rod J”. Obviously not a frequent flyer…or brain surgeon. Flight Attendants are on the aircraft by mandate of the FAA for your safety…ONLY. They simply pass the time attending to your alcohol needs while waiting for the aircraft to burst into flames or, god forbid, land in a river so they can save your worthless hide. Rod J will be first to drop his Bud Light to the cabin floor and run screaming “where’s the nearest exit ?”. I’ll bet the passengers of US Air 1549 don’t want to see Flight Attendants demeaned by walking billboard aprons. Spirit Airlines…another cattle car with wings.

  8. Rod J says:

    A sort of Tourettes-like explosion of invective brought on by a small advertisement on an apron. Oh, the humanity! I can only imagine what happens when you pass a Pizza Hut and see the “dehumanized person” holding the sign and wearing the bear suit. Given that passengers PAY for their flights and the concomitant services that comes with them, I can only conclude that the term “attendant” is based on service to the passenger. If the picture of that attendant’s apron throws you into the tortured and hopelessly irrational state evidenced by your posting, I can only hope the presence of “demeaned” fast food workers, UPS drivers, and others who wear logos does not lead to sensory overload for your extremely overdeveloped sense of righteous indignation. Perhaps a rockinghorse might provide some solace and age appropriate recreation.

  9. mary says:

    You know, I would just be annoyed that there was outside advertising on the apron and not think much of the fact that it’s a beer ad if it weren’t for the MILF and DD ads. At least a chunk of people buying tickets out there are women, and while those ads did get my attention, they’re also kind of a turn-off. When I’m buying airline tickets, I am looking for a bargain, but I’m also wary of new airlines and I do take a look at the airline’s image to see what they’re like. Ads like this one might not get me to exclude Spirit if they really had a good fare going or a flight at the right time for me, but I don’t want to be on a flight with a bunch of spring breakers or rowdy frat boys. I’d rather be sitting next to a crying baby than a drunk 20-year-old.

    I don’t find it sexist, just distasteful.

  10. JW says:

    Just remember who started Spirit Airlines, a stip bar owner in Michigan. Maybe the new CEO has taken some of his advertising ideas from him. That is really sad, if that’s the case. The flight attendant’s are only trying to do a good job. Once people start drinking on board (more than 2) you know they’ll recite the advertisement of DD’s and MILF, it just adds to the problem of the one that already exists. I was there once and know how out of control a drunk passanger can become, resorting to vulgar language and inappropriate touching. Remember these flight attendant’s are there for SAFETY first and service second. It’s ashame we still have people in the world who resort to sex when trying to sell something! It sure devalues the airline and its employee’s, to say the least. Good luck to all the flight attendant’s at Spirit!

    Old Pal, JW

  11. Traci says:

    I’m glad i see that other people agree with me! its funny, i just emailed a complaint to Spirit airlines. I have been annoyed/offended by their ads that i get in my e-mail, it is COMPLETELY unnecessary to make a sexual reference when advertising flights! come on. I just got one saying “we’re having a threesome”. I think they need to fire whoever it is that comes up with these. Also, i have decided not to fly with them. It’s ridiculous! Yes i am sure everyone with poor morals doesn’t give a rip, and probably finds them cute, but i think most of us find them UNNECESSARY, they are not advertising for a strip bar, they are advertising for an airline!!

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.