Lifestyle & Belief

Spirit pulls risque ad at request of Colombia government


A Spirit Airlines Inc. plane on the tarmac at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport.


Joe Raedle

Spirit Airlines' "more bang for your buck" sale didn't last long. 

Late last week, Spirit launched a risque ad campaign aimed at profiting from a Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia. By Sunday, the airline had pulled its ads at the request of the Colombian government. 

“The publicity subliminally reminds of an embarrassing event involving the Secret Service in Cartagena, a city that deserves respect,” the Colombian government said in a statement published by Bloomberg

In its own statement, Spirit said it "meant no disrespect" by the ad, said

Spirit is among the lowest-priced US carriers offering nonstop flights to Colombia.

In the days after news broke that more than a dozen US Secret Service agents and military members had been partying with prostitutes in Cartagena, Spirit launched an ad campaign featuring women clad in pink bikinis and a man wearing sunglasses and an earpiece. 

A lot of people weren't happy about it, particularly in Florida where Spirit's nonstop flights to Colombia originate. 

"Colombia's more than this," Fabio Andrade told NBC Miami. "We have worked so hard to change the image of Colombia ... and to do this is denigrating. And people are very offended by this."

Check out this Storify to see the ad and how the mess it sparked played out online: 

[View the story "No more bang for your buck at Spirit Airlines" on Storify]