Nok Air chief: It will get sexier
Nok Air is unperturbed by criticism that it exploited women's bodies as a marketing tool in its 2013 calendar featuring bikini-clad Maxim models.
- Published: 19/02/2013 at 08:49 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
The budget airline is already promising that the 2014 calendar will be at least as daring.
"We will surprise many people again," said chief executive Patee Sarasin, who is known for his unorthodox marketing tactics.
He would not go into specifics but warned that it may not appeal to everyone, a statement which a source close to him interpreted as relating to "the third gender".
Controversial calendar of Nok Air.
Nok Air's calendar, with women posing in front of jets in bikinis and skimpy clothing, was taken to task by critics including the Ministry of Culture, which accused the airline of "lacking a sense of social and cultural responsibility".
Mr Patee, who has a stake in the airline, shrugged off criticism that the calendar tarnished Thailand's image.
"These pictures of ours are no more exotic than what is already on the magazine stands," he said.
"Everybody has the right to express his opinion. If they don't like it, they don't have to look at it."
Interest in Nok Air's calendar, which was Mr Patee's own idea, has been overwhelming since its debut.
More than 6,000 "likes" appeared in the first hour after teaser photos were posted on the airline's Facebook page on Feb 8. The number has since soared to about 200,000.
Nok Air produced 3,000 calendars and 300 will be offered as part of an online promotion to its Facebook members through a random selection to be announced on Friday.
Some customers have asked to buy them in bulk and have them shipped them overseas. "I reckon at least 100,000 people want one of the calendars, even well-respected types," said Mr Patee, though the airline does not plan to have more calendars printed.
The singing, jeans-wearing executive said the worldwide publicity spurred by the calender was worth the production cost of 1.2 million baht.
He stressed that the calendar models are not Nok Air cabin attendants and the airline is not portraying them as such.
Asked what would be his reaction if some Nok Air stewardesses wanted to pose in similar sexy outfits, Mr Patee said: "I don't like the idea and I don't invite them."
He added: "Maxim girls pose because that is what they do best, while ours [cabin attendants] are respected for their professionalism."
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
- Position: Deputy Editor Business