John Slosar, chief executive of Cathay Pacific Airways, said two members of crew 'shown in compromising situations' in the photographs 'are no longer employees of the company'. Photograph: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

John Slosar, chief executive of Cathay Pacific Airways, said two members of crew ‘shown in compromising situations’ in the photographs ‘are no longer employees of the company’. Photograph: Jerome Favre/Bloomberg

Sex Scandal Forces Airline To Postpone Ad Campaign

A steamy cockpit encounter has left an airline’s marketing campaign grounded.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific today announced the company will postpone a new series of ads set to highlight its superior customer service. The announcement comes one day after the carrier fired a pilot and stewardess caught in photographs engaging in oral sex in a cockpit.

Any connection between the announcements? Oh, you bet. Just check out the tagline for the new campaign:

“Meet the team who go the extra mile to make you feel special.”

The company is understandably concerned that consumers will get the wrong idea in light of the titillating pictorial, which has caused an uproar in China and snagged headlines across the world. “We are thinking about holding the campaign back for a little while because the timing doesn’t suit us at the moment,” Cathay Pacific spokeswoman Carolyn Leung told CNN this morning.

The New York Times reports that the campaign was scheduled to roll out at the start of September but will be pushed back until October 1, by which time the company anticipates the media storm will die down.

Of course, that’s assuming no more “special” cockpit photos emerge.

Sex scandal forces Cathay Pacific to review marketing strategy

The Hong Kong carrier launched an investigation last week after photos were published on the internet of a woman in a red outfit resembling its cabin crew uniform performing a sex act on a man, reportedly her boyfriend, on board.

Two Cathay employees subsequently left the company, but the embarrassing episode — which reportedly took place in the cockpit — has caused the airline to consider postponing its “People and Service” campaign.

“We are thinking of holding the campaign back for a little while because the timing doesn’t suit us at the moment,” said a spokesman, noting that the “extra mile” slogan was launched in 2010.

The emergence of the photos is considered to have compromised the advertising campaign, in which cabin crew and staff are featured on billboards and newspaper and magazine slots, a newspaper report said.

“The timing of this scandal really could not have been worse in marketing terms,” a Cathay management source was quoted as telling the Sunday Morning Post.

Cathay Pacific Delays International Ad Campaign Amid Photo Scandal – New York Times

HONG KONG — An onboard romp by two Cathay Pacific staff members has poured cold water on the planned start next month of an international advertising campaign by the airline.

Titillating photographs showing two crew members, widely reported to be a pilot and a flight attendant, in decidedly compromising positions appeared in the Hong Kong news media this month. They have triggered a flood of coverage not just in Hong Kong, where the airline is based, but in media outlets around the world.

Cathay Pacific prides itself on service and caters heavily to business travelers flying in and out of the Asian financial hub.

Photographs and short biographies of about 100 staff members formed the centerpiece of a high-profile print, billboard and television advertising campaign last year.

The second installment of that campaign, which bears the slogan “meet the team that goes the extra mile,” had been due to roll out at the start of September. It will now be postponed until Oct. 1 because “the original timing doesn’t suit us,” Thomas Lau, a Cathay spokesman, said Monday.

The postponement of the campaign will mean only “minimal” costs for Cathay Pacific, Mr. Lau said.

Cathay said it believed that the photographs, from inside a cockpit, were not taken during flight. Cathay refused to identify the people involved by name or to confirm their job titles at the airline.

Still, the airline is clearly mortified, and its chief executive, John Slosar, is livid about the reputational damage done by the salacious photographs, judging by a statement released by Cathay last Friday.

“Let me be crystal clear about one thing,” Mr. Slosar commented in the statement. “I find any behavior that recklessly soils the reputation of our company or our team members as totally unacceptable.”

The two crew members, Mr. Slosar commented tersely, “are no longer employees of the company.”

Commentary

Cathay Pacific ad campaign grounded by sexy staff pics

 

By Emma Haslett

In an incident which will surely bring a whole new meaning to the term ‘cockpit’, Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific says it may be forced to delay (or even scrap) a new marketing campaign, after two of its employees were photographed in what its spokespeople delicately described as ‘compromising positions’ on the flight deck of one of its aircraft.

What’s awkward about the situation is not necessarily that the photographs, as CEO John Slosar, ‘recklessly soil the reputation of our company’ (not to mention the upholstery). But rather that the airline was poised to launch a new marketing campaign in September bearing the now-unfortunate tagline, ‘meet the team who go the extra mile to make you feel special’. Ooo-err.

The airline has taken great pains to point out that the pilot and flight attendant in question are no longer working for the company, and that there’s ‘no evidence’ that the plane was in flight at the time (although who’d pass up that opportunity to join the mile high club…?). But its marketing people obviously thought it would be safer to delay the beginning of the ad campaign, merely saying ‘the timing doesn’t suit us at the moment’. A ‘management source’ was more, ahem, explicit: ‘The scope for the slogan and the campaign to be misinterpreted, or ridiculed and lampooned, in light of the cockpit incident, is obvious’, he/she/it told Hong Kong paper the Sunday Morning Post. Which is to put it lightly…

Cathay says it suspects foul play from one of its competitors designed to cause a scandal: the pilot in question has reportedly said the photos were ‘stolen’ from his laptop. The way things have turned out, though, it might have been better if they had never been on the laptop in the first place …

Cathay Pacific ‘Pretty Women’ Ads Campaign can been seen HERE http://www.cathaypacific.aero/people/cxPnS.swf

Meet The CX Girls & Get Yourself Pampered From Head To Toes ?

http://www.cathaypacific.aero/people/cxPnS.swf?site_lang=en&pid=6&loadPlanes=50&manual_question=true

Hi-Res version

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Great service. Great people. Great fares … and ‘Great ???’  too ?

More Stories: -

Cathay Pacific rethinks marketing campaign after cockpit sex scandal

Cathay Pacific is considering scrapping an advertising campaign describing the airline as “the team who go the extra mile to make you feel special,” after a pilot and stewardess photographed themselves having oral sex in a cockpit.

The unidentified pilot and attendant left the airline last week following an internal investigation into photographs which appeared online showing them having sex apparently at the controls of a passenger jet.

As reported earlier on GlobalPost, the plane was not airborne at the time but Chief Executive John spokeswoman said he would not tolerate any behavior that “recklessly soils the reputation of our company.”

A spokeswoman told AFP news agency the airline was considering postponing its “People and Service” campaign, due to launch in September.

“We are thinking of holding the campaign back for a little while because the timing doesn’t suit us at the moment,” she said.

“The timing of this scandal really could not have been worse in marketing terms,” a Cathay management source was quoted as telling the Sunday Morning Post.

“The scope for the slogan and the campaign to be misinterpreted, or ridiculed and lampooned, in light of the cockpit incident, is obvious.”

The existence of the photos was first reported in Chinese blogs a week ago. Industry sources initially said they suspected they were a malicious stunt designed to hurt the company.

The woman in the photograph was wearing a Cathay Pacific stewardess uniform, while the pilot’s face was not shown.

The pair reportedly are a couple and told their employer the photographs were stolen from the pilot’s laptop and distributed online without his knowledge.

The BBC said the airline would hand over the results of its investigation to Hong Kong’s civil aviation authorities.

Read more here

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