Coffee, tea or bikini? VietJet stands by racy calendar in face of criticism


HANOI/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Vietnam’s VietJet Aviation reported on Thursday it was standing by a controversial “bikini” calendar, a advertising ploy featuring scantily clad woman models that has prompted criticism in conservative Southeast Asia and over and above.

A VietJet aircraft is witnessed at Noi Bai Worldwide airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

The once-a-year calendar, which has long gone viral on-line, is portion of a broader advertising thrust by VietJet that has propelled the start off-up airline’s speedy advancement, as it has taken current market share from Vietnam Airways.

The publication of the 2018 calendar – which critics say overly sexualizes the picture of flight attendants and other airline staff – will come as there is a expanding debate in the world wide airways field about sexual harassment and in-flight assault of the two travellers and workers.

VietJet, established by Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao – Vietnam’s very first woman billionaire and 1 of a handful of gals operating a significant airline globally – reported the calendar emphasised free of charge option of people today to dress in no matter what they required.

“We are not upset when people today associate us with the bikini picture. If that tends to make people today delighted and joyful, then we’ll be joyful,” Luu Duc Khanh, VietJet’s handling director, reported in emailed opinions to Reuters.

When asked about the views of Thao, Khanh reported the CEO assumed people today “have the proper to dress in no matter what they like, bikini or standard ao dai”, referring to the standard Vietnamese very long gown.

Thao was unavailable for job interview.

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The calendar has prompted an on-line storm in Vietnam, with some people today criticizing and others defending the campaign. The 2018 calendar and a YouTube video of the picture shoot have been viewed much more than 910,000 situations since very first appearing at the conclusion of previous month.

FILE Picture: VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao attends an job interview in her business in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

“I assume (the calendar) is beautiful, not unpleasant at all,” 1 user posted on Fb under the avatar Mai Co. An additional person, named as Van Nhi, reported the airline was “creating scandal to gain awareness. It’s acquiring much more unpleasant.”

Critics say VietJet’s risqué advertising, together with the calendar and bikini manner displays on board planes, introduced an archaic and sexist picture of cabin crew, even as the danger of harassment and assault go widely underreported.

VietJet is “taking us back again 50 years by hyper-sexualizing a woman dominated work group in order to make a several bucks off a few of cheesy calendars,” reported Heather Poole, a veteran U.S. flight attendant and creator of a reserve about doing work the not-normally-helpful skies.

FILE Picture: VietJet Air Taking care of Director Luu Duc Khanh speaks in the course of an job interview with Reuters at his business in Hanoi April 2, 2015. REUTERS/Kham

“Women have to work so hard to be taken critically, and in this scenario it’s a female in demand using us back again to the times of ‘Coffee, Tea or Me?’,” she added, alluding to a 1960s reserve about two fictitious woman flight attendants that emphasised their sexual urge for food.

Khanh reported Vietjet flight attendants have been properly trained to manage sexual harassment conditions.

VietJet is not the very first agency to use racy calendars to raise its profile. Italian tire maker Pirelli – acknowledged for its calendars of glamorous woman models – has overhauled the once-a-year presenting in recent years with less of a concentration on nudity.

Irish price range provider Ryanair Holdings PLC in 2014 scrapped an once-a-year charity calendar featuring woman cabin crew posing in bikinis in favor of much more family-helpful pictures.

Khanh, who reported the proceeds from revenue of the VietJet calendar go to charity, acknowledged that there could be major modifications in the written content for the next model.

“Male models is a fantastic strategy for us to introduce in our calendars next calendar year,” he reported.

Reporting by Mi Nyugen in Hanoi and Jamie Freed in Singapore Enhancing by Adam Jourdan and Martin Howell



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