© Ryannair

What would we do without our busy friends at the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)?  Every few months, this regulatory body bans an ad it deems unacceptable. In the past year, ASA has banned fashion and cosmetics ads for being overly Photoshopped and misleading, for fostering anorexia, and for encouraging young girls to sit on railroad tracks. Each ban generates lots of chatter across the Web, and provides PDN Pulse some handy blog fodder.

The latest campaign to get the ax from ASA is a grotesquely tacky campaign for discount Ryannair that shows female flight attendants in lingerie, in poses worthy of the old Snap-on Tool calendars. And thanks to ASA, the ads are now getting loads of free publicity.

ASA calls the ads “sexist” and “demeaning.” Salon.com notes that the ads are old fashioned. We agree. We’d also note that the campaign features Photoshopping so ham-handed, it hurts our eyes. Maybe the retoucher was hoping the ASA would take notice?

Ryannair, the low-fare airline that has made weekends in Corfu, Palma, Dusseldorf and Ibiza affordable for drunken bachelors all over Europe, has responded to the ban by calling the ASA a “bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits.”

Oh c’mon, Ryannair. Don’t you want to thank those dimwits for the free media they handed you?

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