Spirit Airlines’ latest quirky marketing campaign takes a swing at convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The promotion on the deep-discount airline’s website features a photo of a big-haired Blagojevich look-alike whose clothes turn into an orange prison jumpsuit before vertical bars close over the image.
“We got these fares and they’re f-ing golden,” the title says.
“We are guilty of selling seats but we don’t expect to serve time,” the sale page reads.
Blagojevich was convicted Monday of 17 of 20 corruption charges relating to his attempt to peddle President Obama’s U.S. Senate seat after the 2008 presidential election. A federal grand jury indicted Blagojevich in April 2009.
At the time of his arrest, prosecutors said court-authorized wiretaps caught Blagojevich expressing frustration that Obama transition officials were “not willing to give me anything except appreciation.”
“I’ve got this thing, and it’s (expletive) golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing. I’m not gonna do it,” Blagojevich was quoted as saying in an FBI recording.
The Miramar, Florida-based airline is known for responding to news events with irreverent marketing pushes. Earlier this month, without mentioning disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, the airline launched a “weiner sale” touting $9 fares “too hard to resist.”
It came up with an “Eye of the Tiger” sale just days after golfer Tiger Woods’ 2009 auto accident; the cartoon ad showed a tiger crashing an SUV into a fire hydrant.
A Spirit ad during last summer’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill didn’t go over so well. It showed a woman slathered in suntan lotion (from a green-and-yellow bottle) with the invitation, “Check out the oil on our beaches!”
The current Spirit sale offers $17 one-way fares on certain round trips, available only to members of the airline’s $9 Fare Club, which costs $59.95 a year. The sale ends at midnight ET Wednesday. The sale price does not include taxes, baggage fees and other fees.
Blagojevich’s people were not amused. “No matter what you think about the former governor, most of the public knows he has a wife and two young daughters,” Glenn Selig, a spokesman for Blagojevich, said Wednesday. “Nothing about what’s happened is funny, and Spirit’s marketing campaign is in poor taste.”