Malaysian airline Firefly sparks controversy with ‘sexist’ ads


Nothing sexist is acceptable in today’s world and Firefly has learned the lesson by paying a price! The budget airline in Malaysia made sexist advertisements to promote their discounted flights and was hit hard by a storm of controversy that followed.

Firefly is a low-cost subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines. Recently, they launched some advertisements online and in local newspapers for the promotion of their cut-price flights but the images used for the ads featured backside of women wearing figure-hugging skirts. To add insult to injury, the ad campaign was launched on March 8 – the International Women’s Day.


Image Courtesy: Daily Mail

Firefly chose a day that celebrates the achievements of women across the world to release their sexist and sickening ads. Obviously, the social media harshly criticised the ads and accused the airline of objectifying women for promotional and sales purposes.

Women’s Centre for Change’s senior advocacy officer, Melissa Mohd Akhir, said that Firefly showed poor taste in choosing images for ad campaigns. She told Malay Mail Online that that the ads are nothing but a way of telling that women are just objects for ‘sale’.

People on social media described the ads as discriminatory and encouraging to sexual harassment.


Image Courtesy: Daily Mail

Firefly has already pulled the ads from circulation. They also apologised on Twitter for the campaign by saying that it was not their intention to make any discrimination.

A Malaysian MP, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, also reacted to the ad campaign and asked the ministry for women, family and community development to put restrictions on all the ad campaigns that try to cash on by featuring women’s body parts.

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Rehana Akter

Rehana Akter is a freelance writer who loves writing about a little bit of everything. She has experience in article, blog post, and news article writing. She loves exploring new topics and subjects and writing on them with a touch of creative flair. Her writing style morphs itself according to the target audience and the required parameters.Rehana is a native Bangladeshi who is currently based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has been into freelance writing for more than five years.