Voucher company HotUKdeals has been harshly criticised for its use of imagery depicting a burning British Airways aircraft in an advertisement. The flames engulfing the Boeing 777-200 in Las Vegas had barely been extinguished when the firm used an image of it to plug £299 flights to New York with the airline.
To add insult to injury, the code to activate the deal was ‘celebrate’ and it was right alongside the picture of the aircraft with smoke billowing from it. Following receipt of the ad via e-mail, subscribers took to social media websites to vent their disgust at such tasteless marketing.
Comments included ‘too soon’, ‘you should be ashamed’ and ‘this is really bad’. One Twitter user, @beckyboo19861, posted that it was shockingly bad taste to use the image of a burning aircraft to plug a sale.
Recipients of the ad were not the only ones upset by it. In the US, the executive-director of the National Association of Airline Passengers commented that if he was a BA employee he would be outraged.
Douglas Kidd said the ad seemed like a bad joke and as there were countless pictures of BA aircraft around, he couldn’t see why they had to use that particular one. The aircraft was preparing to take off at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas when its port engine erupted in flames.
Thanks to the textbook evacuation procedures of the cockpit and cabin staff most of the 167 people on board escaped unhurt. Just 14 needed treatment for injuries sustained in the escape via the aircraft’s emergency chutes.