In an ad aired on social networks, Air Transat invites its customers to meet in the sun, meetings in Quebec are banned and travel is discouraged.
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“Are you losing your loved ones?” They will miss you too. Find them with our planes in the south this winter ”, read the air carrier’s statement. In this picture four adults and three children are holding hands on the beach.
“This is irresponsible,” said Roxanne Borges, a professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Mont-Real. How shameful it is for a private company to encourage Quebeckers to violate sanitation measures. “
No one was available at Air Transat for an interview. By email, spokeswoman Debbie Cabana said the statement was aimed at “immigrants, first- or second-generation immigrants, and so on.” ”
The announcement appears exclusively on Instagram as part of a campaign launched in October for those who have lived or have relatives in the company’s sun destinations.
This is important for clients, the carrier said. One-third of the first flights to Cuba and Haiti were packed with passengers from those countries.
Air Transat claims that the “audience” of the ads is determined by Facebook.
A justification “
“It looks very justified,” laments Benoit Dugway, a UQAM professor and marketing expert.
Nothing in the ad states that it will target the audience. He noticed that the passengers in the photo did not have white skin, but this was not surprising in the Quebec ads.
According to him, the statement should be withdrawn.
The Ministry of Email and Health and Social Services (MSSS) recalled that the government had repeatedly emphasized that “traveling outside the country is not recommended”.
“All unnecessary travel should be postponed. This indication is not clear, ”wrote spokeswoman Mary-Claude Lacasse.
“We will not comment on Air Transat’s advertising initiative. This was repeated at a press conference on several occasions: the best way to show those close to us that we care about them is to prevent the spread of the virus, which makes them very ill.”