Airline forced to apologise for ‘sleazy’ advert that told tourists to ‘get off in Thailand’

AIRASIA has apologised after it sparked outrage with a sleazy advertising slogan urging tourists to "Get off in Thailand".

The message alluded to the country's notorious sex industry and was placed on buses and at the airport in Brisbane, Australia.

The message was printed over a night time scene of Thailand.

Campaigners who spotted the advert were outraged by the message it sent.

They accused the low-cost airline of promoting the sexual exploitation of women.

AirAsia, a low-cost Malaysian airline, later removed the ads and apologised for causing offence.

Thailand is well-known as a destination for sex tourism, with mainly male tourists paying women and ladyboys for sex in bars, strip clubs and massage parlours.

The trend started in the 60s after a law in 1966 was introduced to regulate prostitution in licensed areas.

Melinda Liszewski, from the Campaign group Collective Shout, which is against the objectification of women, said the airline was a "dog whistle promoting sex tourism".

She said: "Bangkok is a hub of sexual exploitation of women and children and 250,000 western male sex tourists visit Thailand every year. Now it's just so convenient.

"And of course this dog whistle to sex tourists is plastered on a Brisbane City Council bus.

"This is the public bus service that advertises sexpo to little children. Why wouldn’t they allow this?"

“Get off in Thailand” a dog whistle promoting #sextourism brought to you by low budget low ethics airline @AirAsia

Bangkok is a hub of sexual exploitation of women & children & 250,000 western male sex tourists visit Thailand every year. Now its just so convenient! #Shame pic.twitter.com/gykb9a2oPI

Brisbane City councillor Kara Cook branded the campaign an "absolute disgrace" and said "it should never have appeared on our city's streets".

She said: "Council should be responsible and accountable for the ads on their buses.

"I wrote to the LNP this morning demanding these buses be taken out of circulation. This shouldn't have happened."

AirAsia has removed the ads from buses and also from Brisbane Airport.

A spokesman said: "AirAsia takes community feedback extremely seriously and the airline sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused from recent concerns raised.

"AirAsia can confirm the advertising campaign has ended and we instructed our media partners to have the advertising removed as soon as possible today from all locations."

Melinda also pointed out on Twitter that it isn't the first time the airline has used sexual innuendo in their advertising campaigns, with a number of adverts using female flight attendants with sexual slogans.

One advert had a female flight attendant saying: "We won't ask you to strip down."

An advertising campaign with Delta also missed the mark after the airline handed out Coca Cola branded napkins telling passengers to give their phone number to someone they fancied on board.

Passengers branded the idea "creepy", resulting in Delta apologising and removing the napkins.

Another travel advert went viral for all the wrong reasons after a trick of the eye made it look like a man was pleasuring a woman in the image.

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