Here's Your Worst Brand Tweet Of The Week

Spirit Airlines turns the illegal hacking and leaking of celebrity nudes into a very uncool social media marketing moment.

When hackers stole and leaked privately stored nude photos of female celebrities over the weekend, the Internet's reaction was swift and varied, from juvenile joking to outright misogyny to thoughtful analysis of the act as a sex crime.

Apparently Spirit Airlines, officially the most hated airline in America, felt left out. Someone on their digital marketing team put two and two together that the company's already existing promotion, the "Bare Fare," could gain some mileage (sorry) from this naked-centric news event, and sent out this tacky tweet:

Note: the tweet has been deleted

The airline also sent an email to its customers with a sketch of its nude "selfie" and this copy:

Click to expandScreenshot via Jezebel

Our Bare Fare Was Leaked!

We feel naked; you were never supposed to see this Bare Fare! It was meant for a special someone (who isn't you). Now it's all over the internet for you to take advantage of as you see fit. Scandalous! We thought the cloud was our friend, y'know, because we spend so much time flying with 'em. But now our private prices are on display! Bad for us; GREAT for you.

Understandably, Twitter users quickly called the company out for trying to sell airline tickets with a message that was "creepy and inappropriate," and in "horrible taste," among other descriptions.

This is a teachable moment, brands. Even non-controversial news stories often don't make for great marketing appropriation, but this was way out of line.

[Photo: courtesy of Spirit Airlines]

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19 Comments

  • Elie Deshe

    And now I know about their Bare Fare, thanks to Fast Company. Not bad work on Spirit's marketing team, who already have the hardest jobs in marketing. They are trying to sell complete crap against better competition. Any bit of press helps.

  • tmdonohoejmerush

    Pathetic. This is advertising, not politically correct commentary. Get over it, and get over your pompous self.

  • tmdonohoejmerush

    Pathetic, get a life. It's advertising, not politically correct theatre, sweetheart. Get over it and get over you while you're at it.

  • fast-company-commentary

    I agree with what seems to be a majority or half here, this promotion might be easily called tacky or just plain dumb, but "way out of line" seems itself an over-reaction. I ran it by a close female friend who has the same opinion (and who also believes equating the invasion of privacy with a "sex crime" trivializes what real sex crimes are).

  • Sam Daniels Fritz

    I don't think the tweet is offensive. And the email is actually pretty clever.

  • Ben Classen

    Not sure this is really a bad move. They capitalized on a current story and put a little humor into a bummer of a situation. The collective over-sensitivity is overboard. This consistently thin-skinned reaction and analysis is frankly, click-bait.

  • Jose Luis Revelo

    Just yesterday someone remarked to me that this email got them to click. Please Fast Company, don't join the hordes of safe corporate automatons, you're supposed to be at the edge of innovation, even if that edge is uncomfortable. This article would be more at home in the WSJ.

  • Good for them. Sucks that you're so bias though. This is not the worst brand tweet of the week. Unless someone is dead, brands should be allowed to jump on current events. It shows they're paying attention. Whoever wrote this is way too sensitive to cover topics like this.

  • Over reacting a bit? You're starting to sound like every other media outlet with your "outraged" articles and comments. Lighten up.