Air crews to IWC: Watch yourself April 27, 2007 dpa German Press Agency
Hong Kong - Flight attendants in Hong Kong Friday protested an advertisement for a luxury watch designed for pilots which carries the slogan: "Often seen on stewardesses' bedside tables."
They said the advertisement for the Swiss-made IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot's Watch, which appeared on the front page of an English-language daily newspaper, is sexist and demeaning.
Beneath the slogan, the advertisement describes the watch as "engineered for men," "not infrequently spotted in bedrooms" and says its seven-day power reserve "means you can afford to stay in bed that little bit longer than usual."
Complaints have been lodged on behalf of the flight attendants with the watch company, the consumer council and the South China Morning Post which carried the advertisement in its Wednesday editions.
Hong Kong is home to thousands of female flight attendants working for mostly for Cathay Pacific and Dragonair and copies of the Post are carried on board the flights and given free to passengers.
"I couldn't believe the advertisement when I saw it. It's incredibly demeaning to women," said one 32-year-old Cathay Pacific flight attendant, who requested anonymity.
"It's breathtakingly sexist and seems to make out that flight attendants are loose women who sleep with pilots just because they've got a nice watch. I think IWC should apologize."
John Findlay, general secretary of the Aircrew Officers Association which represents Hong Kong pilots, said pilots and flight attendants alike objected to the advertisement which he called "tasteless."
"Thousands of pilots and cabin attendants employed by the airlines in Hong Kong will see nothing in the words except an example of innuendo of the most sexist, offensive kind," he said.
Findlay, himself married to a senior Hong Kong-based flight attendant, added: "There's no point in asking our members to boycott IWC watches as I have never seen a pilot wearing one."
There was no immediate response to calls and emails to IWC Schaffhausen in Hong Kong and Europe seeking comment on the complaints about the advertisement.
One day later... Watch company withdraws ‘sexist’ Hong Kong ads (DPA)
HONG KONG - A watch company withdrew a Hong Kong newspaper advertisement for a luxury watch designed for pilots that carried the slogan: ‘Often seen on stewardesses’ bedside tables.’
IWC Schaffhausen told Deutsche Presse-Agentur DPA it would apologizing to customers for the ad which was criticized as sexist and offensive by both pilots and flight attendants.
The advertisement for the 10,000 US dollars Big Pilot’s Watch ran on the front page of English-language daily the South China Morning Post last Wednesday.
Beneath the slogan, the advertisement describes the men’s watch as ‘not infrequently spotted in bedrooms’ and says its power reserve ‘means you can afford to stay in bed that little bit longer.’
Complaints were lodged by customers, flight attendants and customers of the watch company, the consumer council and the newspaper.
One 32-year-old Cathay Pacific flight attendant said the ad was ‘breathtakingly sexist and seems to make out that flight attendants are loose women who sleep with pilots just because they’ve got a nice watch.’
IWC Shaffhausen spokeswoman Enrica Tong said the watch company had received a number of complaints about the advertisement and was sending out a letter of apology to customers.
In the letter, the company says the advertisement sought to convey the ‘charm and twinkle in the eye’ of a pilot’s lifestyle and ‘focused on the old word cliche about pilots and stewardesses.’
However, the company admitted it had failed to get the tone right and said: ‘We apologise for any offence we may have caused. It was by no means intended when the advertisement was created.’
Some of their better ... non-offensive ad campaigns :)