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The No Smoking Sign Has Been Illuminated

spiritSpirit Airlines, best known for it’s culture jacking is at it again. The discount airline’s marketing staff has rolled out it’s latest in a growing list of off-color ads.  Spirit’s newest target is Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, who recently reversed months of denials and admitted he smoked crack. “We’re not smoking crack…our fares REALLY are this low”, Spirit crows in an advertisement for flights to New York’s Niagara Falls International. At the same time, Spirit is touting its’ Florida fares with a nod to the bullying scandal at the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Those ads show a dejected businessman wearing a suit and a football helmet next to the tag line: Don’t be bullied by high fares.” Not even airline rival have been safe. Spirit mocked American Airlines by having a “7.57% off” sale when American had problems with seats coming loose on its Boeing 757 jets.

The latest ad targeting Toronto may be of questionable taste, but it could help Spirit raise its awareness in the populous southern Ontario region that abuts Toronto. Spirits’ ads already have drawn attention in Canada’s largest media market, including a mention in some of the nation’s most read newspapers.  Customers keep lining up for these low fares and these low brow ads. In the past two years, Spirit’s annual sales have increased almost 70 %, and its revenue from fees have more than doubled.

Tasteless? Absolutely. Funny? Very. Effective? Most likely. But, how far is too far for Spirit or any brand? Let us know what you think and as always stay #TopRight.

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