Tag Archives: porn

The Preposterous PR of Porn on a Plane – Ryanair PR Stunts

Okay I’ve had enough of this. I have dealt with journalists for over 15 years. I know how to write a decent press release and to get a story out there either in-print or on-line. There is spin and there is super spin. There are true stories and there are tall stories. But the latest RyanAir PR stunts tale is so preposterous I can’t believe anyone picked it up let alone a national newspaper.

I don’t know whether I love or loath Michael O’Leary, the boss of Ryan Air. You often see photos of him looking like a manic gibbon with a smile so wide you could land a Boeing 737-800 in it. And such a photo accompanied this Daily Mail article claiming that Ryan Air will put Porn on Planes. Yes that’s right. Passengers will allegedly be able to rent porn films on their journey.

ryanair pr stunts

O’Learly acknowledges that it wouldn’t be fair to put porn on seat back TVs. No it would instead be available on discreet hand-held devices that the porn watching passenger could angle away from his fellow travellers to spare their blushes. Perhaps the device would come in a big plain brown paper bag to add to this discretion. I doubt it.

And anyway in true Ryan Air style the cabin crew would announce it’s availability in their customary style, “Today ladies and gentlemen we have some filthy dirty mucky films for you to hire. Just ring the cabin crew call bell and we’ll bring your own personal porn player to your seat. Only £10.99 per hour and an extra £2.99 for a packet of branded tissue wipes.”

This is of course complete twaddle. But the Mail reported it as fact.

Why are intelligent journalists taken in by this PR posturing? Do the Ryan Air press releases include a footnote informing readers that the word gullible is not actually contained within the Oxford English Dictionary along with a suggestion to go and check. Obviously not otherwise we would have seen a tabloid headline claiming it’s true along side a photo of a giggling Mr O’Leary giving the thumbs up.

They fell for the statement about Ryan Air introducing charges to use to use the toilet on board. They fell for the frequent releases about introducing stand-up seating. Or more sit down seating made available by taking the toilets out completely.

Anyone with five minutes to spare can find that the 737-800s that Ryan Air use are already at their largest capacity under the Boeing certification and various Aviation Authority evacuation rules.

So it would be easy to debunk the stories. But they report it as fact whilst Mr O’Leary sits in his office cackling insanely and having a right good laugh at those he has duped yet again, and revelling in his free publicity – good or bad.

Personally I won’t fly Ryan Air because I was once kidnapped by them. There was a meeting in Dublin I was going to but after a 4 hour delay on the flight there was no point travelling as I’d missed the meeting and it couldn’t be rearranged for later. I asked to get off the plane (the doors were still open) but they refused and I had to travel all the way to Dublin for no reason. And then come back again. As a result if I had a choice between flying direct to Paris with Ryan Air or via New Zealand with another airline, I’d take the kiwi route every time.

The near genius of O’Leary’s PR is that the public know that flying Ryan Air is a pretty miserable experience and that they will get fleeced for extra charges, so O’Leary’s PR stunts fit so well with people’s perceptions of the airline that they almost could be true.