Low cost airline Nok Air has enraged the Thai government with a frivolous ad campaign featuring stewardesses in bikinis. The officials accuse the company of blemishing the state image and highlighting the troubling matter of sex tourism.
The airline launched an online PR campaign, promising participants new company calendars featuring sexy stewardesses in the pictures. The calendar features Maxim magazine models posing as Nok Air stewardesses next to a passenger plane in rather revealing outfits. The campaign was announced via the airline’s Facebook page.
A local official filed a complaint with the Ministry of Culture claiming the calendar should be banned as it disgraces Thailand's image. "The campaign focuses on the country's bad reputation regarding sex services, and an image that other organizations have been trying to change," the official told the Bangkok Post. He also added that the calendar’s provocative pictures could cause travelers to abuse stewardesses.
The Culture Ministry agreed that the pictures in the calendar were inappropriate. However the airline’s campaign was within the limits of the law, so no legal action can be taken against it.
Nok Air rushed to defend its campaign claiming that the calendar was aimed at existing customers of the airline as a souvenir and has already proved success.
"It was supposed to be a gift to our customers, and so far the campaign has received positive feedback, increasing the number of passengers. There were so many viewers that the webpage crashed," the company’s CEO Patee Sarasin said.