back to article Ryanair battles ASA over 'saucy schoolgirl' ad

Ryanair has locked horns with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a newspaper advert featuring a "saucy schoolgirl", the BBC reports. Ryanair advert featuring saucy schoolgirl The advert punting cheap flights, which appeared in the Herald, Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Mail, shows a teen temptress (right) with the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Likely to cause...

    ...widespread and serious trouser management issues, more like.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Good advertising

    So, let me get this straight... they placed an advert in a few newspapers, which a couple of people complained about.

    As a result of their complaints, loads more people saw it (when the ASA didn't like it).

    As a result of this withdrawal request, a lot more people will see it.

    By refusing to comply with the ASA, even more people will see it.

    So to conclude, publishing a controversial ad, then refusing to withdraw it is the best way to reach the widest demographic.

    Something seems wrong there.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Because 13 people complained, we are not allowed to watch a hot schoolgirl?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    delicious. I'd hit it!

    She's no school girl.

  5. Karl Lattimer

    what about britney?

    Seriously... somebody wants to complain this is provocative... has anyone seen britneys first music video? She was if I remember rightly 15 at the time...

  6. Trevor Watt

    Ryanair are always doing this type of thing.

    Ryanair have had adverts baned and criticised on a regular basis for years, including several last year. The result is they then get a shit load of free publicity, just like this piece in the Register.

  7. James
    Thumb Up


    When I read this story on the BBC website earlier I was disappointed they hadn't included the picture. I knew I could count on The Register to satisfy my requirements.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Entirely legal, surely?

    I mean there's no way she's a schoolgirl at the moment.

    Also, I'd accept their argument that there's worse things in the same issues of the same papers. And that the ASA- and all censors- are a bunch of eejits.

    By all means point out that it could be offensive, but if it's legal DON'T censor it.

    It begs the question- who'd find that offensive?! I mean she's not overly skinny, she's got a great face & body, and she looks pretty healthy and all the "rude bits" are fully covered by opaque fabrics so you can't see anything. There's nothing offensive or even particularly "bad influence"-y about it. Hell, that skirt's longer than the ones you see actual schoolgirls going about in during summer!

  9. Stuart Van Onselen

    Missing the point

    RyanAir are agressively (and, imho, deliberately) missing the point, aren't they?

    It's not about how clothed or unclothed the model is - It's the association with under-age school-girls. And how about that crap about "fashionable among young women"? Do Brit 20-somethings really dress like Britney Spears, or is the RyanAir spokesthing lying through his crooked teeth?

    Sorry, but few things rile me up quite as quickly as PR-bods faking outrage

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    how very benetton, FCUK...

    Dont these guys consider their brand image.. the ad might not be so bad to most people, doesnt bother me. However you will still associate the base level of the ad to their brand.

    So the fact they kick off with the ASA makes me place them in the gutter level of companies, ie dont care.. and therefore wont care about me if I was on their plane and further strengthens the fact I would never fly with them.

    Looking at the sales of French Connection since they started their FCUK stuff, they are now seen as a cheap and chav clothing brand. I dont know anybody that will shop there now.

    Cheap flash in the pan tricks, in the long run cost you dearly...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Uniformly unsuitable?

    What have school uniform standards dropped to!



  12. John Imrie

    So how the Hell ...

    did the St Trinion's movie get advertised then.

  13. Markie Dussard

    Non comprende

    So it's okay for Britney Spears to make a shed load of cash sexualising the schoolgirl image in her videos which are repeated endlessly on public television (thereby exciting poor old Alistair Campbell to a frenzy of pop worshipfulness) around the world.

    And it's okay for the 2006 UK Eurovision entry to represent schoolgirls sexually writhing over their desks to a really dire piece of crap rap (before being soundly trounced by the more artistically creative Lordi).

    But 13 people found this rather tame image "offensive"?

    Who died? Who was injured? Who was cheated? Where was society, or any members of it, harmed or defrauded?

    I think those 13 people should be told to &^%$ Off and get a life!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    can we somehow anti-complain to the ASA?

    "dear ASA, i really liked this advert, it got across an appropriate message in a reasonable fashion.

    lots of love

    blokes wot like schoolgirls"

  15. Marky W

    cheap publicity

    ryanair are masters of this sort of thing:

    step 1: push boundaries until someone complains

    step 2: wait patiently for authorities to react

    step 3: act all aggreived and baffled and issue sarcastic statement

    step 4: watch as media give it wide coverage, worth orders of

    magnitude more than initial add

    step 5: watch the cash roll in

    i'd rather stick pins in my eyes than fly with these b*stards, but you can't help but admire their gall.

    ryanair's full response is worth a chuckle (link), as are many of their other news releases.

  16. Chad H.

    ryanair ads should be banned on principle

    The sooner the flying weasels are out of business the better.

  17. Alex

    What am I missing?

    So the ad "appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour"?

    Somewhat akin to linking ursidae mammals with habitual woodland defaecation?

    All enjoyably farcical. My favourite bit is when Ryanair says "nah, we're not gonna". I bet a lot of other advertisers didn't even realise that was an option...

  18. Dan
    Thumb Up

    Am I going to hell...

    ...for thinking she looked good? No, because there's no way she's school age. As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

  19. Steve

    @ how very benetton, FCUK...

    "Dont these guys consider their brand image.. the ad might not be so bad to most people, doesnt bother me. However you will still associate the base level of the ad to their brand."

    Dude, it's Ryan Air - you were never going to bump into the Crown Prince of Brunei on a budget flight to Malaga.

    Frankly, the "base level" of the ad is spot on for Ryanair.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I think some of you people are confusing depiction with reality. Do you have kids? It does not matter if the woman is "legal", it is the depiction of her as an hottie underage girl who is dodgy. "page 3 stunnas" are not represented as under age school girls (afaik).

    It's a shame Ryanair get the publicity though, its an irresponsible company as it is.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @Chad H

    Why the downer on RyanAir? I have flown with them many times with absolutely no complaints. Their surcharges are all obvious on the website, so if you are not happy with them fly with someone else. If you check in online and just take a carry on bag they are usually the cheapest way of getting from A to B. They fly from my local airport and the only delay I have ever had was about 30 minutes due to an issue with air traffic control, not the airline.

    Accept the service for what it is - Cheap, cheerful, zero frills - and they are great. If this isn't what you want then you can pay the (substantial) extra to fly with BA or go by train.

  22. Rob Holmes

    @Stuart Van Onselen

    "....And how about that crap about "fashionable among young women"? Do Brit 20-somethings really dress like Britney Spears, or is the RyanAir spokesthing lying through his crooked teeth?"

    You've not been out in a large-ish British city in the evenings recently, have you?

    In other words, yes, female brit 20-somethings (and 30-somethings and *shudder* 40 and 50-somethings, not to mention the ones which are 20-something STONE) do dress like that. A few can carry it off and look good. Most look like old sheep dressed as young sheep.

  23. Paul Stimpson
    Thumb Up

    Good for them

    There is no way any reasonable person would look at this model and believe she is under 18. This is not kiddie pron and doesn't encourage anybody over or underage to commit any crime. What boundary does this push that hasn't been pushed multiple times before?

    Good on Ryanair for standing up to the ASA and the anti-pedo hysteria brigade.

  24. Martin

    The picture is not offensive per se, but... is offensive in the context of an advertisement for air flights.

    The days when scantily-clad women were used to attract men to look at adverts (because women didn't buy anything, so it didn't matter if it offended them) are long gone. There may only have been thirteen complaints, but I suspect that most women (and many men) who looked at this just raised their eyes to heaven, thought "How peurile!" and made a mental note to move RyanAir down their list of cheap flight suppliers.

    And RyanAir, by refusing to abide by the ASA's code of conduct, are hardly behaving in a adult fashion. But then, the advert itself doesn't indicate that they are an adult company.

  25. Daniel Dainty
    Thumb Up

    Yum! Sauce?

    I *always* link teenagers with sexually provocative behaviour.

    IT angle? Who cares?!

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Please Miss...

    She's obviously not teenage, so I have to assume that she's the teacher. I'm sure I need some remedial education in something. Anything.

  27. Chris C

    Sexually provocative behavior?

    Mr. Sherrard's comments are spot-on. In a country where you print topless women in your freely-available (non-age-restricted) newspapers and websites, a fully-clothed women is considered offensive? Why? It is because she *IS* wearing clothes and you have to *IMAGINE* what she looks like naked?

    Simply put, people can (and will) be offended by anything. If you're specifically looking to be offended, you will be. Many fat people are "offended" by skinny people (such as this model). Does that mean we should ban all pictures of skinny people, too?

    I would question what exactly the ASA considers "sexually provocative behavior". If the word "HOTTEST" is considered "sexually provocative", they they really have a problem. Are the words "attractive", "cute", or "adorable" equally "provocative"? 'Tis a slippery slope, indeed.

    You guys are getting to be as prudish (and ridiculous) as us over here in the US.

  28. Neil Hoskins

    I agree with Stuart

    Paedophilia is not funny and it's not clever.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    I thought this was a joke but...

    ...maybe it's true: The real reason for paedophilia is sexy kids.

    The ASA certainly seem to think so

    Mine's the mackintosh and Cosmo Smallpiece glasses.

  30. Cap'n wotsit

    St Trinnians

    So its not ok to have an obviously no school girl dressed like that, but it is OK to have a whole film of girls dressed like that - I am OFC talking about St trinians, all of the films, not just the latest one. FFS this sort of thing was ok in the 50's - just look at the original St Trinians films with Alastair Sim and George Cole, all the older girls wore stuff alot more provocative than that.

    methinks the ASA needs to pull it's collective thumb out of its bum, take a step back and take a good long look at itself

    nice pic of the gilr though, and yes i would hit it

    oh and whilst we are on the subject - IT angle?

  31. John Macintyre
    Paris Hilton

    @how very benetton, FCUK...

    er.. have you ever flown ryanair? they don't care, the seats are shit, you have to fight for one, the lounge sucks, you pay for everything, there's screamingly load advertising everywhere, and it's a yellow plane.

    you want good service go for ba or virgin. ryanair don't care about those customers, they sell cheap flights to people who don't want to pay a lot, so this ad kinda goes straight to the right people. seems like perfectly good advertising to me

    paris, cause even she wouldn't travel by ryanair even if they have her free tickets and it was the last plane on earth

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I were Ryanair...

    Id be trawling through a certain tabloids archives looking for a page3 model dressed like a schoolgirl. Im sure in the years theyve been publishing risque pics theres bound to be one or two dressed in a similar manner, and if thats acceptable why not the RyanAir advert?

    Much as im not a fan of Ryanair, Id have to say I would trust them over the ASA. Has anyone actually managed to get any action out of the ASA for a valid non-controversial reason? I have. I complained about a company who advertised at one price and sold at another. They didnt want to know!

    And finally, to everyone who said "Id hit that", "shes definately not a schoolgirl" etc, I agree. Thanks Reg, for publishing the pic.

  33. Name

    The REAL much wider.

    Listen fellow posters, there is a more serious issue associated with this Ryanair dodginess... Why is it acceptable generally for us to be attracted to, and 'joke' about, women who are above school age but wear school uniforms? I can see why the advertisement is offensive to some; but in society I find the British attitude to schoolgirls who are actually schoolwomen a bit hypocritical...

    The British press has a problem with reporting on peadophilia accurately, but then it's suddenly fine and dandy for a large company to have a tongue in cheek joke about naughty schoolgirls, who aren't girls nor at school, but that because of that it's ok to pretend they're at school, but not really. WHAT?! Not only does none of the theory make real sense, in a real mature society it just should not be acceptable to joke about something that is basically playing on the fact that schoolgirls can look mature and be found attractive by some men when they're actually likely only 16 years old. Putting an older model in those clothes and joking on the fact she's being 'naughty' whilst also being a youngster at school isn't amusing or acceptable, because it's implying that 16 year old girls who dress a bit provocatively enjoy the same thing.

    It's very convoluted subject, but I have to say I don't think it's okay to have page3 in rubbish newspapers not worthy of the 10pence they ask, and again it's not alright to play on the supposed schoolgirl sexual allure to make more cash in the world.

  34. Joe Stalin
    Thumb Down

    Some-one learned a new word

    Just read the ryanair press release on their web site, and I can only assume some-one is tickled pink by the word qango. I think the use it about every second word, do you think they are trying to get some point across.

    Flown with ryanair once to Glasgow Prestwick airport, sorry but somebody should point out Prestwick is a long long way from Glasgow. Easyjet fly to Glasgow Airport which is about 10 mins by car (outside rush hour) from Glasgow.

  35. Kwac

    pick the paper

    to advertise in to ensure that at least one person would complain. How many 'Sun' readers would complain?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Strike one for RyanAir

    "This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising."

    Way to go, guys! Plus your tabloid-cheap Sarko+dumbwit ad here in France was also worth a chuckle. Serves our attention-grabbing joke of a president right.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stuart Van Onselen

    'It's not about how clothed or unclothed the model is - It's the association with under-age school-girls.'

    Who said anything about under age school-girls? As far as I can remember most people finish school after their 16th birthday which is the age of consent in the UK

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    blah blah

    almost every guy wants to bang a hot chick in a school uniform.

    As long as it's legal - hit it.

    Although nowdays as a guy you get done for rape if she's had a drink. Donesn't matter how much the guy has had though...

    You get done for rape if you bang a chick from a nightclub and she turns out to be too young.

    I think soon you'll get done for rape if you fap to porn whilst thinking about someone you know.

    Also they want to charge you for fapping to child porn if you fap to drawings.

    So I suppose fantasising about woman in school uniforms by todays standards means you want to have sex with preteens in the eyes of the moral elite, the police and the government.

    *yawns* Soon unless your fantasising about government sanctioned females with the females full concent you'll be in breach of some form of law.

  39. Hedley Phillips


    This advert shows me exactly the type of person I could be sitting next to if I booked a flight with them.

    Essentially wearing sportswear but never having played sports. Am I allowed to say Chavs?

  40. Matthew Brown
    Paris Hilton

    Little Miss RyanAir

    "This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits"

    I love RyanAir. Ever since their reaction to airport security restrictions, they've had my utmost respect.

    So based on this new Calvinistic approach, will they now pull all the adverts for The Garage nightclub that feature photos from thier "school disco" night? Or any such club night for that matter?

    Besides... the number of teenage pregnancies in the UK is more likely to show school girls as being promiscuous than this advert is. Dirty buggers!

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whether Ryan Air are likable or not, surely the issue is that in the 1000s or 100,000s of copies of these newspapers that were read..... 13 people felt strongly enough to complain that this advertisment offended them.

    We shouldn't judge anyone by our own standards, if they were offended then that's the case.


    Did it *really* warrant the might of the ASA to undertake an investigation, which must have cost enough to keep a small country fed for weeks??????

    Just how many people have to complain before they spring into action?

    No pic - there doesn't seem to be one for 'blinkered'.

  42. Sub-Vulture II


    Stuart said: "RyanAir are agressively (and, imho, deliberately) missing the point, aren't they?

    It's not about how clothed or unclothed the model is - It's the association with under-age school-girls. And how about that crap about "fashionable among young women"? Do Brit 20-somethings really dress like Britney Spears, or is the RyanAir spokesthing lying through his crooked teeth?

    Sorry, but few things rile me up quite as quickly as PR-bods faking outrage"

    And I generally concur.

    It's all about the context. Ryanair are an offensive bunch, full stop. They offend with their general tawdriness, mendacity, smirking hypocrisy and shameless headline-grabbage. They're the corporate equivalent of a starlet 'accidentally' flashing her pants at the paps every damn night. Boo to them.

    No, objectively it's not *that* offensive, but still I do weary of this kind of crap and the tatty circus it creates. There's an utterly terrifying van that comes around here delivering canned tuna, with a cleavage-tastic blonde on the side saying 'Chunky?' or 'Flakey'? I mean... what is that? Whuh? Did I miss a meeting?

    But I realise this is neither the time nor the place to start passing comment on the use of sex (i.e. provocatively-presented females) in advertising. Noooo.

  43. Chris Cheale

    Wouldn't happen in Japan

    I can 'sort of' see where the ASA is coming from - you'd not visit a website about "sexy school children" and not expect to be stalked by the paedo-hunter general, caught, hung, drawn, quartered and burnt at the stake.

    But, really, the whole "sexy schoolgirl" thing is nothing new, see:

    Just about any Manga film (the Japanese are big into their schoolgirl fantasies)

    Music videos - including Britney Spears and Aerosmith

    St. Trinians

    Not to mention the old Chilli's song "Catholic schoolgirls rule" and I wouldn't risk a Google search on "school girls".

  44. Michael O'Malley

    I love Ryanair

    I am old enough to remember when airlines used to shaft us. You needed a second mortgage to fly a scheduled flight, and ordinary folk used trains and boats. After Ryanair, you fly anywhere for the price of a round of drinks. It's no surprise that they have become one of the largest airlines in the world. People who complain about them yearn for the old days, when you paid vast amounts of money for pointless services. And you did not have to rub shoulders with common folk.

  45. graham crocker

    ASA & Ryanair - hats Off to Ryanair

    Full marks to Ryanair for standing up to the ASA. As they say, they are "unelected" and "self appointed ". If they were "dimwits" life for the rest of us would be much easier. Unfortunately they appear to be either 'spineless' - for not standing up to 14 whingers out of a pool of 60 million - or carrying the flag for a puritan agenda sometimes associated with stroppy feminist groups.

  46. Martin

    @Paul Stimpson and many others....

    The point is that the advertisement is offensive, not that the picture is.

    It's offensive on so many levels.

    1) It's offensive to me that RyanAir think that I am so shallow that stupid Sun-level jokes should appeal to me.

    2) It's offensive in general terms, in this day and age, to use a woman as a sexual symbol to sell air flights. It's reasonable for, say, underwear or perfume - not reasonable for air travel.

    3) It's offensive to single and/or working women that the assumption of this advertisement is that the people who buy flights are men, and women just tag along.

    And bleating about censorship is missing the point entirely.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Maybe you need to learn the difference between reality and fantasy.

    Fact: Watching a horror movie does not turn most normal people into axe murderers

    Fact: Watching a War movie doesn't turn you into evil dictator or heroic general

    Fact: Watching a car chase scene doesn't turn you into a joyrider

    but seeing an adult in a school uniform turns you into pedo? get a grip, stop this "Think of the Children" bollocks

    But then again, I guess the millions of people that have gone to the "School Disco" nights are all a bunch of kiddie fiddlers.

    Oh one more little fatc for you:

    FACT: Most child abuse is commited by people known to the child, not complete strangers. So I'd be more warey of your relatives being left alone with your kids than guys who like the model ;-)

  48. John Savard

    Nature of Problem

    The model in the photograph is clearly over 20.

    But because she is wearing a plaid skirt, and quite low about the hips, it can indeed be said that this ad might serve to stir up sexual interest in underage schoolgirls.

    Back in the 1960s and 1970s, there used to be quite a bit of advertising that was justly criticized by feminists as "demeaning to women", and I can perfectly well understand why some women would like it known that women do not exist simply to keep house, mind children, and provide intimate companionship.

    Just as African-Americans don't exist just to shine shoes and pick cotton.

    Sometimes this political correctness stuff gets taken way too far, but toning down the negative influence of advertising isn't entirely a bad idea

  49. Steve Browne
    Thumb Up


    A friend of mine is a 52 year old transvestite with a passion for school uniforms. I think this advert is discriminatory towards school uniform wearing transvestites and rightly deserves to be banned.

  50. Badg3r

    We need ryan air

    @Chad H

    We need Ryan air to keep the chav scum off the airlines I prefer to fly on.


  51. Stuart Van Onselen

    @Rob Holmes

    "You've not been out in a large-ish British city in the evenings recently, have you?"

    No, haven't even been near the UK this millenium. I presumed they didn't, but I did have to ask to be sure.

    "(and 30-somethings and *shudder* 40 and 50-somethings, not to mention the ones which are 20-something STONE) do dress like that."

    Oh good God! *shudder* indeed! You have my sympathies. In my neck of the woods the "mutton dressed as lamb" look positively matronly compared to the images you have just planted in my head.

    Where did I leave that bottle of bleach?

  52. Chris

    She's obviously "old enough", but...

    She's still dressed like a schoolgirl. Is the country trying to give a mixed message to paedophiles or something? Note I'm not objecting to the fact that she's a girl, or she's dressed provocatively... just the obvious portrayal that she is supposed to be a "sexy schoolgirl" doesn't sit right with me. Maybe it's because I have worked in a school since I was 18, and so since then the sexy schoolgirl image has never appealed as much as it does to many other people, because to me they are quite simply "off limits"!

    Why not have a hot young teacher in the advert or something, then it's just as well linked to the ad campaign itself, but without the controversy.

    Answer: MarkyW hit the nail on the head. It's called "slashing your advertising costs!" I never saw the original ad in the papers, yet I read it on here, and I now know that Ryanair are running a campaign linked to some kind of school theme. All without them spending a penny more to get the additional coverage on the BBC, El Reg etc.

    Clever marketing or bumbling good luck? Choosing PH cuz I'm not sure which she is either!

  53. Luther Blissett

    Bad marketing - or good targetting?

    Did the ad company forget to write LHOOQ on the picture - or were they after the oik market who have never heard of the surrealists, know no French, and think postmodern comes from Ikea? Or maybe there was no ad company.

  54. Big Dave

    Good grief. Puritanism is alive and well it seems?

    Some people just need to get a life. Ask a head-shrinker and they will tell you straight that fantasies like this are a HEALTHY thing. There's an awful lot of trick-cyclists out there who will, with a straight face tell you that all men want to have sex with their mother and kill their father - it's natural.

    Nuns, police, postal workers, nannies, etc. are all fair game for 'sexualising' - the kind of people that wring their hands over this kind of thing are, IMHO, the kind that are worried how THEY feel about it, not how it might effect society.

    The attitude that leads to banning this kind of fantasy image is what leads repressed weirdos exploding into a real paedophiliac episode.

    You may as well argue that horror films are obscene because they depict murders 'artistically' or action films because they depict life-threatening car chases in an exciting way.

    Oh, hang on - if you're the kind of person moaning about a schoolgirl fantasy then you probably ARE the kind to also want violence on TV banned and so are hopelessly biased... I'll get my hat and gloves...

  55. Geoff Mitchell

    She'd be wearing more clothes if RyanAir didn't charge so much for luggage


  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ASA double standards

    Now if the advert had mentioned 'Unlimited' in large words and 'fair use' in the small print then the ASA would have totally ignored it no matter how many complaints there were.

  57. Anonymous Coward

    Get A Grip!

    Can we please get away from the hysterical smokescreen B/S about innocent children? This isnt the case here! My mates 15 yr old son sometimes uses my PC when hes here (- Under my supervision... he isnt getting away with anything here ) - to surf the profiles of his mates on Bebo... have you seen the photos that the *innocent little darlings* post of themselves on there? ... male and female! Id say that was far more worrying than a clearly tongue in cheek advert.

    The model is clearly a "St Trinian" type *caracture* of a naughty schoolgirl probably from the "upper 6th remove" or some similarly obscure category.

    As for the ASA, does this body have any credibilty left after its total failure to enforce honest advertising on Broadband providers? The "unlimited" lie causes offence to far more people than the few prudes who choked on thier branflakes over this (probably with supressed excitement).

    Jeeze whats next? The vice squad breaking down my door to steal my old vhs copies of the St Trinians Trilogy? The "Mrs Lovejoys" of this world wont be happy till they have censored every bit of fun out of our lives.

  58. Alex


    Have you ever been to a 'school disco' themed-night at a club or similar? It cuts both ways, men and women are attracted to other men and women who dress in a way that reminds them of a highly sexualised time in their life.

    And whilst it might go against some of your sensibilities and mine, a 16 year old girl is legally entitled to do what she wants to do and with whom. I think it's more hypocritical for the ASA to pretend she can't.

    So, "why is it acceptable generally for us to be attracted to, and 'joke' about, women who are above school age but wear school uniforms"?

    Because they are women who are above school age.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As someone who just _LOVES_ the Japanese Schoolgirl image (AKB48, Morning Musume, Halko Momoi, Anime in general) I will never cease to lol at the endless torrent of retards like Chris who seem to think that it is indication of some kind of sexual deviancy that will lend me to kidnapping a child and raping it.

    Infact the most likely thing I am to do to a child is glare at its parent when it is making noise on a bus.

    Sadly due to the never ending influx of such retards I do actually fear that one day someone will take a dislike to me, tell the police I am suscpicious, that the police will arrive and find my collection of concert dvds, photobooks, movies, figures and other such things and create some kind of demented charges. Even if the charges fell through I may aswell kill myself.

    But as said the most likely people to abuse a child are parents and close relatives, followed by family friends.

    Also being a peadophile means being sexually attracted to children incapable of having children. Although that's been lost in the mix. Now it means someone who finds a person below the age of concent attractive. Which is I'm afraid - bulls--t.

  60. Big Dave

    And for those worried about feminism... get a "get a life" comment as well ;)

    When struggling for equality, please try and realise that men and women ARE DIFFERENT. They just are. That's it.

    Equality should be less about repressing a male urge to see scantily clad women and more about promoting other images of women.

    The sooner feminists understand that you don't have to demonise men and male impulses to achieve equality, the sooner equality will occur.

    It would be a very boring world indeed if everything had to appeal to everyone equally and offend noone. Not to mention impossible.

  61. Sub-Vulture II
    Thumb Up

    Thanks John Savard

    for a smidge of sense/perspective.

    Most of the rest of you... sheesh. Go and talk to some women, or something, if they'll let you.

    Big Dave, I'm not even going to dignify with a response a comment claiming to have any clue about feminism from someone who calls themselves 'Big Dave'.

    (I think you've all had enough chance to drool about how you'd hit that, by the way, so any other comments along those lines are getting canned.)

    Oh and lastly, I believe 'ephebophilia' refers to people attracted to adolescents.

  62. Greg


    Does noone sees the most interesting point of the article is the Director of Communication's communication?

    "The airline's head of communications, Peter Sherrard, declared: [...] "This isn't advertising regulation, it is simply censorship. This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising.""

    Whoh, that's the DIRECTOR of COMMUNICATION. You know, the guy who's responsible for being diplomat when you need, whose role is to give a good image all around and to smooth angles.

    Insulting in front of the whole world the very people who rule over the field he's responsible for.

    That was a real laugh.

  63. kissingthecarpet

    @ AC (blah blah )

    Whilst its fair enough to complain about prudishness,the nanny state,puritanism,etc etc where did you get the idea that men are being prosecuted for rape unfairly or excessively if the victim has "had a drink" ?

    Most rapist get off scot free,or are never even charged. Why don't you try asking any woman who lives in say, London how often they are hassled by weirdoes (mainly "normal" types in suits) on public transport ? I bet you're a "no means yes" merchant aren't you?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stuart Van Onselen

    "....And how about that crap about "fashionable among young women"? Do Brit 20-somethings really dress like Britney Spears..."

    Hmmm, if you're asking this question then I'd have to recommend steering clear of most town centres in England, Scotland or Ireland (either one) between about 22:00 and 2:00.

    I return from my vanishingly few nights out in Central London feeling... dirty... and not in the good way. You can call them what you like, but the term that springs most easily to mind is usually: sausages.

    I agree with those who think the ad is offensive, but then I'm really not Ryanair's target market and I tend to lean more strongly towards 'freedom of speech, however inane' than towards 'ban this annoying, obnoxious ad'.

    I'd also like to point out that Ryanair's advertising is hardly likely to lead someone to 'turn' into a paedophile. It generally seems to take years of childhood abuse and/or neglect, often combined with some kind of severe mental illness, for that sort of thing to happen and I rather suspect that by that point the poor bastard might be aroused by walking past something as *un*sexy as a real school uniform shop or a Toys R' Us.

  65. Big Dave

    @ Sub-Vulture II

    Lol - I just HAVE to go ahead and dignify the implication that by having the handle "Big Dave" I don't have a right to comment on feminism:

    What the hell does my user name and its inference to my size in any way have to do with my attitude toward women?

    Yup, you sure show a lot of perspective there. Unfortunately it's the kind of narrow perspective that lead people to jump to wrong conclusions.

    Maybe we should also ban people with 'obviously' overtly male and sexual user names like "Big Dave"? That would be just as sensible as banning that ad.

  66. Spleen


    Am I the only one who is actually creeped out by the advert? Not because of the picture - I have no problem whatsoever with uniform fetishes. My problem is the phrase "hottest back to school fares", which to me is a definite association between the picture, the offer and school-age children.

    From the comments I do seem to be the only one, so fair enough. I'm not offended by it, and I don't think it should be banned, but it does, to me, appear to have gone slightly past "fly Ryanair and shag hot girls" towards "fly Ryanair and shag schoolchildren".

  67. Big Dave

    Off topic, but 'bad' feminism really gets my goat...

    Oops - this is getting off the thread subject, but I...just...can'

    kissing the carpet: I would say the generalisation "men are being prosecuted for rape unfairly or excessively if the victim has 'had a drink'" is about as fair as "Most rapist get off scot free,or are never even charged", wouldn't you? And accusing someone of being a "no means yes" merchant is just abusive.

    No doubt rapists do sometimes "get off" because consent is very hard to prove sometimes.

    Equally, though, men do sometimes get accused of rape when both parties were drunk at the time, but only one woke up feeling guilty about what happened. Harsh? *shrug* Maybe.

    Think I'm done in this thread...

  68. Martin

    @Big Dave and others

    OK - I'll dignify Big Dave with a response.

    "Equality should be less about repressing a male urge to see scantily clad women and more about promoting other images of women.

    The sooner feminists understand that you don't have to demonise men and male impulses to achieve equality, the sooner equality will occur."

    No-one is demonising men and male impulses. And strangely enough, most feminists (and I include myself as one, even if I am male) don't have any real objection to pictures of scantily clad women (or men, come to that) in the right place.

    The objection is using images of women as sex objects to sell things that have nothing to do with sex. That is what is considered offensive and demeaning to women. It's not that hard to understand.

    It's also the fact that the advertisement is aimed at young men. (And judging by the responses on here, it worked). The implication of this is that it's young men who buy cheap flights - presumably to go on stag nights in Prague - and not young women. It's a bad advert for that reason alone - it alienates a huge chunk of the people it's aimed for.

    I don't find it offensive to see a huge picture of Freddie Ljungberg in his underwear, advertising Calvin Klein. But I would if a similar picture were used to advertise cheap flights. (Except that it wouldn't happen, because most women aren't so easily enticed by a bit of flesh as men are.)

  69. Highlander


    Not sure which is worse, the utter stupidity of the ASA, or the mindless crap being spewed by several posters in this thread.

    Naughty school girl imagery is just silly, fun fantasy and does not in any way harm any one.

    If Page 3 is still allowed, then how can the ASA sit there with a straight face and bitch about a naught school girl costume?

    People who are offended by this kind of thing should stop working so hard to be offended.

    People who link such adult fantasy or play with crimes against women or children are utterly disgraceful. By equating the two things you take simple fantasy and turn into into something nasty. Perhaps that is the way your mind works, but it sure as hell isn't the way mine does.

    As for the person who mentioned Japanese pop-culture. Yep school girls are hot there, and the look is even hotter. But have you ever noticed that violent crime rates in Japan are incredibly low, as are sex crime rates. You'd think, by the krazy logik being employed by the prudish crew here that things might be otherwise there, but somehow they're not.

    Boy, the UK is going to hell in a hand basket isn't it? I thought that the US was bad, but if the climate in the UK is changing such that the St Trinnian's style naughty school girl look is being equated with 'potential sex offender', it's clear that the UK has sunk way further than I thought. What's next? A whispering campaign to have the tabloids with topless page 3 models re-classified as an adult publication? Perhaps create an impression that only dirty old men enjoy the sight of a beautiful pair of breasts? Or that the sight of such things is sufficient to drive an ordinary man to become a sex offender?


  70. Joe Stalin

    Sam Fox

    Wasn't she sixteen when she first appeared on page 3 of the sun? May how the thought police have gained power.

  71. Anonymous Coward

    That's nothing...

    The ASA should take a drive through Caerphilly (S. Wales, UK), at lunchtime.

    The schoolgirls are something to behold and the things they're advertising require no bylines.

    You're taking your no-claims-bonus in your hands I can tell you.

  72. Chad H.
    Thumb Down

    @ AC

    my issue with ryanair is their "everyone is wrong but us" attitude to everything- eu laws "no, its outregious we actually have to obey disability discrimination laws" -refunds "its outregous we can't keep all the money customers pay us when they dont fly, even though the airport taxes we only have to pay if you're on board" -changing your name on a ticket "its outregous you made a mistake, gimmie gimmie gimmie", advertising "its outregous that we have to follow the same rules as evrryone else", and lastly climate change "its outregious to suggest our planes pollute, our planes reverse the greenhouse effect".

    Quite frankly, I think the only thing thats outregious is that that bunch of monkeys are trusted with an aviation license.

    I can only imagine what will happen if they crash, they'll deny there was a crash, deny the plane was theirs, deny they ever denied it, and charge fees for corpse identification, retreval, and an extra stopover.

  73. Sub-Vulture II

    *puts head on desk*

    *groans softly*

    It's the CONTEXT it's the CONTEXT, can't you see that? It's got nothing to do with bloody well Page 3. And it's not a sodding thought police issue either. Would you quit it with the endless kneejerk invocation of the spirit of Orwell? Good grief! If I had a quid for every time someone mentioned something 1984-ish this week alone, I could buy all of you and put you in frilly panties and make you DANCE for me.

    *resumes position*

  74. Emo


    Your spelling of outrageous is outrageous.

    On the otherhand, why not pop along to the ASA website and cheer on Ryanair for a tongue in cheek ad.

    You see more on page 3.

  75. RW
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Good Advertising

    Used to be that the best way of ensuring a book was a best seller in the US was to get it banned in Boston.

    Just another twist on the old adage "there's no such thing as bad publicity."

    Paris, because she knows this and exploits it to the max. Clever girl, pretending to be stupid...

  76. RW

    Get a Grip, People!

    A. It's a parody. No one in their right mind (unless they've been immured in a nunnery for fifty years) thinks that the model is anything other than a adult.

    B. As a parody, it's supposed to be funny and it is, including the snark it flips at the contemporary shibboleth "pedophilia". Satire, if you prefer. Sounds to me like 13 people plus the ASA forgot to engage their senses of humor -- if they have any.

    C. For some odd reason, one suspects that those offended are staunch feminists who find offense in anything that treats women as sexual beings. Antidote: Boccaccio's Decameron. Penguin Classics has a good edition in English.

    D. I'm waiting for Ryanair to further fluster the anti-sex crowd by issuing an ad on the theme "if there's grass on the playing field, play ball!" If you don't get that, I will not explain it.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ryanair's Siren

    Surely the A S A have grounds for banning the ad?

    School classroom scenario; lithesome, scantily-clad female; but looks late-teen/early twenties.

    Isn't the Trades Desription Act the relevant legislation?

  78. Ponmyword

    The ulterior motive

    It's the crusty, lefty, eco-mentalists who are behind all attacks on Ryanair et al.

    They (the former) are more full of green bollox than a Leprechaun's underpants.

  79. Anonymous Coward

    A different reason the ASA should get on Ryanair's case

    I'm offended that the *rest* of their ads weren't as delicious!

    Their next one could be some sort of "spanking the competition" theme...

  80. Futaihikage
    Thumb Up

    That made my wednesday

    That was the BEST thing i've seen all wednesday. I think their advertisement and the after-effects did their job rather nicely.

  81. Rick Brasche
    Thumb Down

    what's with the screams of "pedophilia"?

    methinks a lot of people from that camp are "projecting".

    Have *none* of you ever heard of College? You know, that school thing that adults, 18-50 or older, attend? Are any of you aware that "back to school" doesn't always mean the six years of elementary? that there's *at least* four years of education for professional fields *after* high school?!

    My girlfriend is a "naughty schoolgirl" sometimes. She's 27, and is a few years away from her Master's. Yes, I bought her the shirt and skirt too. (she already had the mary-janes)

    just because you can't get your woman to play doesn't make it a crime. Maybe you're just jealous or something? Or perhaps it's the obvious psychological projection issues-just because the pic makes *you* think of illegal acts with underage girls, doesn't mean that the rest of the healthy individuals in the world are as sick as you are.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Sub-Vulture II

    Quite right, the page 3 stunna was not only wearing school clothes, she is in what appears to be a classroom context setting.

    This is clearly wrong.

    She should in fact, not be wearing a shirt and should be on page 3 of the Sun instead.

    Paris Hilton because I'm sure she would also look quite good on page 3 of said daily rag.

  83. Morely Dotes

    So the presumption is...

    That in the UK, no one attends school after the age of 16.

    Well, that would certainly explain the state of your economy.

    Or is it just possible that the "sexy schoolgirl" is, in fact, a *university* student? And that those who are going on about "think of the children" are, in fact, closet pedo cases themselves?

  84. GrahamT


    What has that got to do with anything? The Police, army, civil service, judges, lawyers, doctors, teachers, the BBC, and lots of other people working in public service aren't elected. Are "Communications Officers" elected? (the NG in QANGO stands for "non-governmental" so obviously they are not elected - doh!)

    It only matters if they are doing their jobs properly: I don't know if the ASA are or not: I would guess that if they are pissing Ryanair off, then they are.

    Anyway, I won't be flying Ryanair any time soon: I don't want to sit with their apparent targetted demographic. *shudder*

  85. GrahamT

    @Morley Dotes

    Yes most kids do stay on after 16 in the UK, (and start at 5, not 6) but they normally stop wearing uniform at 16, so any one in uniform would be under 16.

    And universities don't have desk filled classrooms - nor uniforms.

    Also there are still nearly $2 for £1 so the economy is doing fine thanks.

  86. Joe

    My tuppence worth

    IMO, there's two seperate issues here really:

    1) The age-old "sexy schoolgirl" thing doesn't turn men into raving paedophiles. (I like that sort of thing myself!)

    2) But it's got to be kept an adults-only thing - the sexualisation of young children is wrong. Showing sexy images to children is wrong.

    So, the Britney Spears video was ok, but it wasn't okay for 10 year olds to watch! The same with many pop videos, I reckon. (That Eric Prydz one in the gym, for example, was nothing but soft porn!)

    And just because the Sun has page 3, it doesn't mean it's right. It's not the place for it.

    Maybe I'm confused. I also liked what "Name" at 12:15 GMT put.

  87. Anonymous Coward


    If you /are/ going to hell then I'll be joining you. Tangentially, can anyone tell me how far into the Harry Potter film series one has to go before one can stop feeling guilty about fancying Emma Watson?

  88. Philip Knight

    Bucket of cold water

    Don't want to appear a prude, but for the record I would like to observed that it is not 'OK' to purve over children - which is what after all school girls are (and indeed what this advert suggests that this woman is). How would the executives of Ryanair like it if their 15yr old daughters were the subject of frenzied kleenex sessions by all and sundry? The point about this advert is that it is nothing at all to do with good looking women in short short skirts (which, for the record, is something I think should be encouraged) and is everything about the advert pandering to men's base instincts which are to s*ag anything in a dress regardless of their age. Maybe I am a bit old fashioned but I don't think it's something that should be encouraged. Apologies for stating the bleedin' obvious.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I bet Brits wouldn't mind having a naked man exposing his butt instead. Most of your ads are like that and I really can't see what's funny about it.

  90. benito darder oliver

    it isn't Ryanair fault

    it's parent's fault... that let them dress in that way...

  91. steve
    Paris Hilton

    @graham t

    "Yes most kids do stay on after 16 in the UK, (and start at 5, not 6) but they normally stop wearing uniform at 16, so any one in uniform would be under 16."


    There are many colleges in the UK that require pupils to wear a school uniform past the age of 16. I think there are at least three within 5 miles of me right now.

    "And universities don't have desk filled classrooms"

    /epic fail

    You haven't been to university recently, have you? I've been in several uni classrooms that actually had (shocking, i know) desks in them!

    She looks like a uni girl on her way to a party, as many of my friends did at uni. I'd certainly buy her a drink, especially as she is obviously above legal age.

    No companies shouldn't use sex to sell things, they do. It works. Move along, nothing to see here.

  92. Frank Bough
    Paris Hilton

    Are we now so ridiculously poitically correct

    That we can't recognise the truth that many girls reach the peak of their sexual gorgeousity between 16 and 18 years old? I hate to say this because, frankly, Ryanair are the scum of the skies, but I'm with them on this one.

    Paris looking sad because she's not as attractive as a standard-issue schoolgirl fantasy.

  93. Mark

    Harry Potter and the trouser tenting

    "Tangentially, can anyone tell me how far into the Harry Potter film series one has to go before one can stop feeling guilty about fancying Emma Watson?"

    Well, about the time of prisoner my brother mentioned someone fancied her (in response to me quipping "does my bum look big" when she's hiding outside Hagrid and looks back while bent over). I said something along the lines of "well, she's got promise now she's growing up" and he said "no, he fancied her in the first one".

    So I'd say sometime around about now, or a few years time.

    'course if you yourself are 15, it was a few years ago. I mean, I can remember fancying 6 year old girls once. I was 6 years old myself at the time.

  94. Bruce Davis
    Thumb Up

    Back to Basics

    The Ryanair ad is basic advertising..., sex sells. I remember when airline flight attendants used to be attractive women. Now, most of them, at least those on US airlines, are card carring members of AARP. If the CEO of Ryaniar really had "balls" to follow through with the fare promotion, he'd dress all Ryanair flight attendants in the same uniform for the span of the promotion. This is assuming that Ryanair's cabin staff is not too old, to male, or too overwieght to adorn such attire in the first place.

  95. T Mulhall

    sexualisation of girls in European society

    This sexualisation of girls in European society is turning your kids into worldly children. They have the words, the dress, and attitude, yet they don't understand what it all means.

    Look around at all the people who are working and trying to make ends meet for their families and their children who are normal and not (generally) over sexualised or worldly beyond their years, do they resemble what this ad typifies? Or perhaps it is the growing majority who allow their children to dress like prostitutes and hoodlums, while allowing them to roam the streets at the age of 5; those who have children simply to collect money from the government. Is this who Ryanian are speaking to, is this who they are trying to attract?

    I wish them luck and will pay the extra to fly an airline that doesn't insult my intelligence.

    T. Mulhall

    Ex-pat from US living in your country

  96. Phil the Geek

    @ Chad / Ryanair safety

    Ryanair is 100% accident-free so far as I'm aware - no fatalities at all, happily. Which is pretty good considering how many people they move and how long they've been doing it. Now, who was it that ploughed a field in London with a B777 recently?

    Yes, Ryanair are cheap and cheerful, but you pays your money and you takes your choice.

    Personally I think the schoolgirl advert is just very, very naff - so I respect their flight ops people a lot more than I respect their ad agency.

  97. Anonymous Coward

    At all teh people offended by the add

    Is this a blatant grab for publicity by Ryanair: YES

    Has this been used before and will it be used again: YES

    Are the "offended" folks providing free publicity for those guys: Definitely

    Is the add offensive: Subjective (depending how meaningful the viewers life is)

    You say you are not offended but you claim the moral high road and pick up the crusade for something this trivial?

    You want to make yourself feel good about by crusading, at least pick something worth crusading for(join Big Brother/sisters or something)

    I say you need to get something better to waste your time on then such trivial junk...

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