Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The T'dad Guardian reports today that BWIA & its ad agency, CMB, are fussing about an ad for Virgin Atlantic which has been appearing in the local press (no link because the Guardian has no permanent online archive [sigh]):

"As it seeks to attract additional passengers to London with a reduced fare, BWIA is facing stiff competition from Virgin Atlantic airlines, accusing it of spoofing the BWIA name in its press ads.

"BWIA has officially written to the Advertising Standards Authority about Virgin’s most recent ad in the local press in which it is advertising its own London fares....

"In the Virgin ad, which appeared in the Guardian and another daily newspaper, the 'W' in the acronym BWIA was changed to a 'V' and a slogan below read 'Better Virgin. It’s Available.'

"'I can assure you that falls outside of the standards set by the (T&T) advertising association,' said BWIA corporate communications officer Clint Williams....

"'That’s not the rules that we play by here in Trinidad,' said Williams.
Some advertising officials interviewed yesterday agreed."

Grow up! Virgin is running a clever ad playing on customers' perceptions of BWIA's service. The appropriate response is not to run off whining complaints to some big daddy standards authority. Why can't CMB come up with an even more clever ad, making fun of Virgin if necessary, run that in the press, let the audience make up its mind — in other words, play the game! Or are BWIA's admen stumped for ideas? Do we have a real ad industry here in T&T or not? Sandy Morrison, show us what you've really got.

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