Budget carrier AirAsia pulls 'Get off in Thailand' ads in Australia

FILE PHOTO: A Thai AirAsia Airbus A320-200 plane prepares for take off at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/File Photo

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia Group Bhd. on Tuesday said it had dropped advertisements of flights between Brisbane and Bangkok, after drawing social media criticism that they used a double entendre that promoted sex tourism.

The response comes after Twitter users posted photos of AirAsia ads on a bus and Brisbane airport reading, “Get off in Thailand.”

A Twitter user with the handle @MelLiszewski wrote, “a dog whistle promoting #sextourism brought to you by low-budget low-ethics airline @AirAsia”.

In a statement, the airline said, “We take community feedback extremely seriously and sincerely apologize for the concerns raised.”

It added, “AirAsia confirms the campaign has since ended and our media partners have had the last of these advertisements removed.”

The campaign aimed to promote Bangkok as a destination, “for example, get off the bus get…off the aircraft in Bangkok” the airline said.

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Clarence Fernandez


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