Aer Lingus regrets offence caused
05 April 2007
Aer Lingus has today told ICABS that they "regret any offence caused" by a reference to bullfighting which appeared in a recent promotions email. The company has promised that they will "avoid any further mention of this activity". ICABS welcomes this response.
The full text of their response is as follows:
Response from Aer Lingus
Thank you for your letter regarding our recent e-marketing communication. Our Chief Executive, Dermot Mannion has also asked me to acknowledge your email to him.
I am aware of your concern regarding our reference to bullfighting in Madrid. In emails of this kind it is common for our email copywriters to refer to various tourist attractions and activities available at our destinations. We acknowledge that the activity referred to could be upsetting to many of our customers. Our Head of Marketing, Fintan Lonergan, and Digital Marketing Manager, John Maguire, have asked me to assure you that this was certainly not our intention. In this instance, the reference in question was not picked up in our copy approval procedure and we sincerely regret any offence caused.
Due to restrictions in our email communication schedule, it is not possible to reissue this email. However, I can confirm that we will review future marketing copy and will avoid any further mention of this activity.
Thank you for bringing the matter to our attention.
Aer Lingus recommends visit to bullfight
ICABS has demanded that Aer Lingus immediately stops recommending bullfighting to holidaymakers in Spain. A promotional email from the company this week tells readers to "take in the atmosphere of a traditional bullfight at Plaza de Toros."
In a letter to the airline's Head Office, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports expressed its dismay at the content of email.
"Considering the extreme animal cruelty involved in bullfighting, we are very disappointed that Aer Lingus is recommending a visit to a bullring," we stated. "It is especially disappointing as there are efforts all across Europe at the moment to secure support among members of the European Parliament to sign a declaration which is seeking to ban this horrendous activity (Written Declaration 0002/2007)."
ICABS added: "We also feel it's worth mentioning that many tourists who are lured into bullfighting venues are thoroughly disgusted and upset at what they see. For many, the sight of a bull being stabbed and speared to death and bleeding profusely across a bullring casts a dark shadow across their holiday memories."
Thank you to all who contacted Aer Lingus and asked them to stop publicising bullfighting. We are pleased that Aer Lingus will no longer recommend bullfighting.