Why won’t Ryanair’s ads on boarding passes work? Because everybody hates boss Michael O’Leary

Ryanair is to sell ads on the tickets and boarding passes you need to download (otherwise they charge you another fifty quid or so) in a joint venture with contract publisher Ink.

Will this succeed? No, it doesn’t have an iceberg’s chance in hell because, despite the numbers, customers (especially Ryanair customers) hate the prospect of being exploited yet again and this gives the big two big outdoor specialists WPP-owned Kinetic and Aegis-owned Posterscope the chance to say No.

A couple of years ago Ryanair tried to sell ads on overhead luggage lockers via a Dublin company. Again the numbers looked great, the airline carried more people in Europe than any other airline and passengers are always ferreting about in the overhead lockers.

But in the case of Ryanair it was probably because some jobsworth was trying to tell them they couldn’t get that bag in there and they’d have to put it in the hold for another hundred euros.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary might be good at running an airline but he’s absolutely no good at all at creating a media-friendly brand.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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