It’s hard to say if anyone but Homeland Security will profit off of the new full-body TSA screenings, but PETA is sure going to try.
The animal rights group recently proposed an ad campaign to airports featuring a poster that makes light of the heightened security measures with the body scan image of a curvy woman in lacy underwear with the message, “Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan” stamped across her bra and underwear. The campaign is conveniently timed with the holiday season, where most meals anchor around some type of carnivorous centerpiece and many Americans start to plan out their diet goals for the new year. Yes, the model in this poster is thin. Yes, she is nearly naked. And yes, sex does still sell.
PETA also submitted the ad for Southwest Airlines’ in-flight magazine, Spirit. Despite its own racy campaigns, Southwest called the body scan ad “too provocative,” although they are willing to consider other ad ideas from PETA.
PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews responded, “Our ad is less sensational than many of Southwest’s own promotions. The airline may have canned it because the company is based in Dallas, the heart of the beef belt.”
Major airports in New York City, Charlotte, N.C., and Las Vegas rejected the proposal and have already refused to carry the ad campaign. NYC calls it too sexy, Vegas calls it political. Mathews said that the poster is meant to be humorous, not political, and that PETA has not taken a political stance on full-body scans and pat-downs. “Airports now have defibrillators on the walls in case of a heart attack emergency,” he said, “Why not allow a pro-vegan ad to help prevent one?”
PETA also released an accompanying web ad called “Cruelty Doesn’t Fly,” which features Pamela Anderson as a scantily clad blonde TSA agent giving pat-downs to a pair of nude models, comedians Steve-O, Andy Dick, and Carol Leifer, and German punk icon Nina Hagen, and stripping them of leather, fur, and animal skin as they pass through the security check point:
The ad cost $50,000 to make, and PETA was hoping to air it during the holiday season. Boston’s Logan Airport announced last week that it wouldn’t be running the ad on its free WiFi network.
“Given the groping that you see at security checkpoints – and the nudity that you see in body scans,” retorted Mathews, “We’re surprised that our lighthearted ad was deemed too risque.”
The body scan ad campaign has also been condemned by feminist groups calling it sexist. At least the model is wearing briefs, not thongs.
Photo courtesy of Inha Leex Hale via Flickr