Air NZ brushes off body-paint complaints

PAINTED VEIL: Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe is body-painted before appearing in the advertising campaign.
PAINTED VEIL: Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe is body-painted before appearing in the advertising campaign.

Air New Zealand's decision to parade its staff in nothing but body paint has sparked calls for a cover-up.

While the airline's television advertisement showing airline ground staff and cabin crew servicing the aircraft and passengers in only painted-on uniforms has been a hit on YouTube, it is causing offence in some quarters.

New Zealand's advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, has received a complaint about the advertisement from a viewer concerned that it was airing on TV at a time when children were watching with their parents.

"All genital areas were hidden but they left nothing to the imagination and [it] conjured pictures that none of us needed," the complainant said.

Others have also voiced their unease over the advert and Air New Zealand's decision to expand its use of body painted staff to the in-flight safety video being used on 737 domestic flights.

"The last thing I want to see when I fly is some fat Air NZ flight attendant's rear end," one disgruntled customer posted online. "I will be booking with Jetstar and Pacific Blue for all of my future domestic flying."

Another said: "Enough is enough, this is our national airline, not a strip joint! I for one won't bother booking with you again."

But Air New Zealand is defending its "Nothing to Hide" campaign, which it says is designed to highlight the transparency of the airline's all-inclusive domestic airfares with the message that what you see is what you get unlike competitor airlines who levy additional charges to check a bag or have a drink.

A spokeswoman for the airline said they had been overwhelmed by the positive responses to the campaign and were not aware of any negative feedback.

In considering the complaint about the "Nothing to Hide" advertisement, the Advertising Standards Authority said while painted bottoms were shown, the use of nudity was not gratuitous and had been employed in a "tasteful manner".

It ruled there had been no breach of the advertising codes as the advert was unlikely to cause widespread offence in the light of generally prevailing community standards.

* What do you think of the ad? Watch it, then post your comments below.

Sunday Star Times