Every year, since 2008, Ryanair have produced the Girls of Ryanair Calendar, which has raised over 600,000 euros for charity. However, a Spanish judge has decided that the calendar is sexist and the advertising campaign for the 2013 edition broke the law and advertising rules.
The calendar which features female cabin crew in bikinis was adjudged to have broken Spanish advertising laws by using the “female body as a mere object” to get it’s message across. The formal complaint which sparked the court case was lodged by a Spanish consumer group.
Judge Amanda Cohen said that there was “no connection whatsoever between the pictures used and the product being promoted and it is therefore illegal, discriminatory and unfair.” Just to rub a bit more salt into the Ryanair wound, she also ordered that the company must publish the ruling in at least two Spanish national newspapers, and foot the bill to do so. Ouch!
The calendar, which will continue to be sold throughout europe, markets for 10 pounds in the UK and €10 in europe, and the 2014 edition, which features images taken in Crete, will give all proceeds to the UK-based charity, The Teenage Cancer Trust.
It was bound to happen really, with five years of complaints from several women’s groups in Spain. This particular complaint was by the Adecua consumer group, who claimed that the calendar was using “sexual connotations” for marketing purposes and that it should be banned.
Robin Kiely, from Ryanair, defended the calendar and said that an appeal against this ruling would be launched. He also explained that the 2013 calendar, which is the one that incurred this particular complaint, raised more that €100,000 for the TVN Foundations, who work exclusively with sick children in Poland. He also said that this complaint affected only specific adverts run in November and December 2012 for the 2013 calendar and would not affect their continued charity work for 2014… for which they are doing… yes, you’ve guessed it, a Cabin Crew Charity Calendar, which has already surpassed all other years with 9,000 copies sold in just six weeks!