Travelocity gnome is cited for exaggerating hassles of Priceline

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Oct 20 2010

Bidding on a hotel via a service like Priceline can be a bit stressful, I suppose. But can it be likened to being put on a spinning wheel as people hurl knives at you? Or being in a tank with piranhas? Those were the analogies Travelocity used in recent ads, and according to industry watchdog the National Advertising Division, they were a bit of a stretch. The NAD suggested the commercials, which feature the company's gnome mascot suffering such indignities, "be modified to avoid overstating the difficulty of and stress associated with using Name Your Own Price and discontinue the depictions (the piranha tank and the knife thrower's wheel) that help convey the unsupported message." The NAD also took issue with an image of the gnome roasting on a spit. In response, Travelocity said, basically, chill out. The company "does not dispute the NAD's holding that using 'Name Your Own Price' is not as excruciatingly awful as being eaten by piranhas, being the target of a knife thrower, or being burned alive on a spit." Neverthleless, Travelocity agreed to pull the ads.

In the U.K., push comes to chav over classist marketing pitches

Posted on Wed Jan 28 2009

Chav copy

Though classism exists in the U.S., the U.K. has always been a bit more out there with it. For example: the term chav, the U.K. equivalent of what some in America call "trailer trash," has become a topic of debate among two British travel firms.
  Activities Abroad started the discussion when it sent out an e-mail to 24,000 people bragging that it ran customer names through its database and found no "chav names" in it. (Such names include Britney, Dazza, Bianca and Chardonnay.) While the firm claimed this was all meant to be tongue in cheek, Travel Republic responded by offering a 10 percent discount to anyone with a chav name. A Travel Republic rep tells the Daily Telegraph: "We're delighted to have 1,600 Shannons, 1,100 Courtneys, 600 Chantelles, 500 Kylies, 400 Tiffanys, 300 Candices and 200 Britneys on our database, and two Candices, a Chantelle and a Dazza among our staff."
  Could something like this ever happen in America? Maybe not, but Bill O'Reilly is gearing up to be offended in case it does.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman


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