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NFLPA takes issue with Spirit Airlines bullying joke

Spirit

Last week, Spirit Airlines’ modern-day Mad Men lost their marbles when coming up with an ad campaign that pokes fun at the ongoing bullying scandal in Miami.

The NFL Players Association has now registered an objection to the company.

NFLPA spokesman George Attalah says via Twitter that he and Ahmad Nassar, Executive Vice President at NFL Players, Inc., wrote Spirit Airlines “voicing our displeasure at their tasteless ad.”  The union asked Spirit Airlines to make a donation to anti-bullying organizations.

Dated November 12, the letter calls the ad “distasteful, offensive, and pathetic.”

The ad, which began to circulate late last week, tells customers, “Don’t be bullied by high fares” and “Fly incognito out of Florida, or any place for that matter.”

The words appear in Dolphins colors, and a photo accompanying the ad shows a guy wearing a white helmet with aqua and orange stripes.

We agree with the NFLPA’s position, and we hope Spirit Airlines takes appropriate steps to rectify its effort to profit via a goofy play on words that makes light of a serious societal issue.

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47 Responses to “NFLPA takes issue with Spirit Airlines bullying joke”
  1. vontazemebro says: Nov 14, 2013 8:43 PM

    Sounds like a winning Super Bowl commercial to me

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 14, 2013 8:44 PM

    There’s football on and I’ve got all kinds of material. I guess I’ll stay out of the sights of the NFLPA for now. I’m an anonymous critic and even I don’t want the NFLPA releasing press releases about what they don’t like about how I operate. Other people and businesses would be wise to stay out of the cross-hairs of powerful groups that are paid big money to accomplish a variety of different types of agendas.

    I saw a report just last week about how Spirit was the most profitable airline the last year. I guess they got bored of insanity, repeating the same thing over and over again.

    Perpetual success is not for every passenger.

  3. jakec4 says: Nov 14, 2013 8:52 PM

    Some cheesy off brand airline thinking that any publicity is good publicity.

  4. modhairken says: Nov 14, 2013 8:55 PM

    I think it’s funny.

  5. goatbrady says: Nov 14, 2013 8:56 PM

    I’m sorry but that’s pretty funny. And with the circus in Miami right now, they deserve what’s coming their way.

  6. reilt25 says: Nov 14, 2013 8:57 PM

    “The union asked Spirit Airlines to make a donation to anti-bullying organizations.”

    So the NFLPA is bullying Spirit Airlines into donating to an anti-bullying campaign. #irony

  7. jimnaizeeum says: Nov 14, 2013 8:57 PM

    Cheesy

  8. fxg0201 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:07 PM

    Anybody that uses Spirit airlines offends me. Chill out NFLPA you where bullied by the owners at the last CBA. Lets guarantee those contracts instead

  9. metalhead65 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:11 PM

    anything that offends the pc police is alright in my book!

  10. johnnyjagfan says: Nov 14, 2013 9:15 PM

    Public Figures. Live with it!! Brilliant ad. No different than Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley singing a song about the ObamaCare website.

  11. NoWearMan says: Nov 14, 2013 9:18 PM

    Wow…so, if my local tavern somehow mocked this silly situation, would the nflpa take issue? this is WAY out of the unions scope.

  12. anarchopurplism says: Nov 14, 2013 9:21 PM

    George or Ahmad need to punch the CEO of Spirit Airlines in the mouth!

    Crybabies!

  13. zn0rseman says: Nov 14, 2013 9:28 PM

    Funny.

    And really, it is not a serious issue.

  14. nomoreseasontix says: Nov 14, 2013 9:29 PM

    Lighten up, Francis…

  15. oxycode30 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:30 PM

    Its a funny ad and I give cudos to Spirit for having the stones to use it.

  16. vincentbojackson says: Nov 14, 2013 9:35 PM

    It would seem to me that Spirit Airlines is poking fun at Incognito, the bully. Not sure how you can arrive at the conclusion they’re encouraging bullying.

    Everybody is looking to be offended by everything they see these days. Nobody gave a crap about bullying 5 years ago, now everyone’s suddenly appalled by the mere mention of it.

  17. tfbuckfutter says: Nov 14, 2013 9:36 PM

    If Spirit was good at advertising and PR than they wouldn’t be Spirit. They would be Delta or United or American….

    And we’d be pitching ten times as hard about how ridiculously bad their service is after suckering us into buying tickets with their advertising.

  18. n0hopeleft says: Nov 14, 2013 9:41 PM

    Spirit Airlines is the worst airline in America. Over $100 to check one bag. No reclining seats, and their planes smell like dog sheet.
    They get by on cheap flights to Vegas.

  19. keltictim says: Nov 14, 2013 9:41 PM

    And by posting this article you are making the ad successful. I had never heard if the ad or seen it but the publicity you are giving it ( for free) is probably exactly what they were hoping for. Seriously you should send them a bill for ad space.

  20. genoinabottlenyj says: Nov 14, 2013 9:42 PM

    go one step further with it and hire incognito as the official spokesperson for the airline.

  21. subliminalsteeler says: Nov 14, 2013 9:44 PM

    This is hilarious!! How can you banter genius marketing??

  22. socalskinsfan21 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:53 PM

    on the subject of spirit though no joke I got an e-mail from them today that said “We’re not smoking crack!” “Fly to the Toronto area for $29.90!”

  23. ratbastardshanahandjob says: Nov 14, 2013 9:56 PM

    Thanx Much for this story or I never would have seen the ad which is great. Screw the PC Police……

    PS Martin is still a soft quitter and a rat…….

  24. aboveaveragejoe11 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:01 PM

    Bad taste is en vogue, but come on. I got this email from Spirit and was shocked. It was cheesy, dumb, unnecessary and showed bad judgment – not something I want in an airline. I immediately unsubscribed from their email list.

  25. tjjohnson98 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:03 PM

    People being mean to each other has been a “serious societal issue” since people were invented. Sorry to say, I doubt the NFL is going to fix that. Why so serious?

  26. prozachary says: Nov 14, 2013 10:04 PM

    If the C.E.O. of Spirit Airlines was smart he’d call for an investigation as to why this happened and then form a committee to assist in creating better leadership at their headquarters. And be sincere about it for cryin’ out loud!

  27. Deb says: Nov 14, 2013 10:09 PM

    When I worked in corporate communications, a late-night comedian cracked a joke about our company. Against my supervisor’s advice, company execs insisted we craft a letter demanding an apology. The company was the butt of constant jokes for weeks. Sometimes it’s best to let these things slide.

  28. craniator says: Nov 14, 2013 10:14 PM

    “Let’s guarantee those contracts instead.”
    ________________________________________________
    Right , so that a guy making , at the least , just under $400,000.00 a year is guaranteed the entire amount of his contract , even if he’s cut for poor performance , when few if any of us in the real world who make , in most cases , barely ten percent of that have no such protections. Yeah , okay . . .

  29. annes22 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:16 PM

    What do you expect from one of the worst airlines out there??? They could use a lesson in customer service, and obviously their ads are pathetic too.

  30. sbdt says: Nov 14, 2013 10:21 PM

    Lighten up, Frances

  31. commonsensedude says: Nov 14, 2013 10:23 PM

    The NFLPA needs to grow a sense of humor and cut the crap. There are real problems needing to be addressed – let’s start with the high number of the NFLPA’s own, highly paid, members who get arrested every year.

    Let’s make a deal, union. We’ll all stop joking about football players when they stop giving us so much material to joke about.

  32. hawkforlife says: Nov 14, 2013 10:24 PM

    Using the royal “we” to lecture a private business that came up with something pretty funny is pretty bogus.

    Why don’t you lecture NBC Sports, your parent company, for televising concussions and of course advise them to pay into anti-concussion charities.

  33. rodh32340 says: Nov 14, 2013 10:38 PM

    The NFLPA needs to find something better to do …reacting to every little thing may be trying to earn your rep money, but you come across as petty and advantageous.

  34. mackcarrington says: Nov 14, 2013 10:49 PM

    I read the ad. I laughed. So it must be funny.

  35. piason says: Nov 14, 2013 10:54 PM

    Everyone in South Florida I know thought it was funny! NFLPA are bully’s.. Who do they think they are telling Spirit Airlines to donate money to anyone.. So absurd NFLPA should mind there own business period.

  36. T.D. says: Nov 14, 2013 11:26 PM

    Dear NFLPA:

    Rather than spend your time looking for outside organizations to criticize for their (admittedly) insensitive treatment of the Martin-Incognito affair, maybe you should devote your efforts to figuring out why this sort of behavior took place and was allowed to take place between two (or more) members whose interests you claim to be trying to (though are seemingly unable to) protect. Tacky ads are the least of your problems.

  37. dickrummy says: Nov 14, 2013 11:51 PM

    I challenge anyone to explain what they think is the meaning of the ad copy.

  38. catquick says: Nov 14, 2013 11:56 PM

    It’s becoming an increasingly humorless society. No wonder suicides are on the rise.

  39. ivanpavlov0000 says: Nov 15, 2013 1:02 AM

    Spirits fees for changing flights and carry-on bags are definitely bullying.

  40. sportsguy3434 says: Nov 15, 2013 1:05 AM

    And the NFL will fine him $5k for the wrong socks and $25k for the wrong color uniform…

  41. toddm1016 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:22 AM

    Of course you agree since you’re in the NFL’s pocket. When is the league going to do something? Shouldn’t Ireland be suspended by now for his comments?

  42. 12strikes says: Nov 15, 2013 7:01 AM

    “REMAIN CALM….ALL IS WELL!”

  43. FinFan68 says: Nov 15, 2013 7:29 AM

    They should complain about the actions of their membership instead of faking outrage at a local commercial. Public outcry over DUIs, woman beating, weapons charges etc would be a better idea than this

  44. exboomer says: Nov 15, 2013 7:44 AM

    Spirit Airlines has to be the WORST airline in the world. They charge passengers for everything except breathing and their service sucks big time. It doesn’t surprise me they would produce ads like these, it fits their corporate mentality perfectly.

  45. Punk says: Nov 15, 2013 8:26 AM

    What is awesome about this is that Martin and Incognito are both pretty universally disliked over this ordeal.

    Now we get to add the NFLPA to our list of things we hate about this situation.

    Spirit, however, is not on that list.

  46. somethingsmellsrotten says: Nov 15, 2013 10:51 AM

    Absolutely hilarious! All you pansies are getting your panties bunched up over a frickin’ ad…get a life already.

  47. shatho1 says: Nov 15, 2013 11:21 AM

    NFLPA just needs to stick with dealing with the players of football in the NFL and leave businesses alone that have nothing to do with the game

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