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Malaysia Airlines’ new ad campaign sparks controversy

Sept. 4, 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Malaysia Airlines Ltd. has scrapped its “Bucket List” advertisement campaign after it sparked criticism on social media.


September 4, 2014
By Bloomberg News

The airline, which suffered two disasters this year that claimed the
lives of 537 people, will stop the “inappropriate” campaign in New
Zealand and Australia, it said in an e-mailed statement today. The “My
Ultimate Bucket List” campaign began in the two former British colonies
Sept. 1 as a play around the phrase, which means a list of things to do
before dying.

“The competition had been earlier approved as it was themed around a
common phrase that is used in both countries,” Malaysia Airlines said in
its statement. “The airline appreciates and respects the sentiments of
the public and in no way did it intend to offend any parties.”

 

Malaysia
Airlines has suffered this year after flight MH370 with 239 people on
board went missing in March and a multination search still hasn’t
managed to find the plane. Tragedy struck again in July when MH17 was
shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The government
is nationalizing the airline, which is firing 6,000 workers.

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The competition went live Sept. 1, was removed the next day after the social media backlash and relaunched on Sept. 3.

 

The
ill-fated contest continues in a new form, according to the airline’s
website. “Whether it’s big or small, share your life’s ultimate to-do
list and you could win a flight ticket or an iPad,” according to the
website.

 

The competition is designed to inspire and encourage
travelers to dream, plan and book their next holiday with Malaysia
Airlines, the carrier said. To participate, customers who buy a ticket
before Dec. 31 are asked to lodge their list, with the most creative
answers going into a lucky draw, it said.