Sex sells, but is there a limit to how much titillation consumers want?

Chocotravel is a ticketing service based in Kazakhstan that is apparently looking to make a splash with their new app. To their credit, they picked pretty much the most straight-forward way to advertize — with plenty of skin.  

However, the ads have left both the travel industry and consumers shaking their heads.

The barely-there wardrobes in the ad were apparently supposed to have a purpose: to highlight the nothing-added fee structure of the company. Yet, the message that was actually communicated was more along the lines of “buy our product because of these attractive ladies.”

If you’re thinking that Chocotravel was just catering to one gender, you would be mistaken, because the company responded to claims of sexism by digging their proverbial hole even further and releasing a second video featuring some men showing — as they say — the “Full Monty.”

Here’s a pro tip for any companies that might be foolish enough to copy this advertising strategy: If you’re looking to get past a charge of sexism, making sure all of your pilots are males and all of your attendants are female isn’t the way to do it. 

The backlash to the company has been fierce thanks to internet comments, and plenty of digital ink has already been spilled on the matter. The company’s director isn’t convinced the criticisms are correct, however, and has responded via his personal Facebook page, as reported by the BBC

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“On his Facebook page, Chocotravel Ticketing Service director, Nikolay Mazensev, has responded to the criticism saying the clips were “bold and outrageous and we did not mean to offend.”

He adds: “It shows no less than you’d see on the beach or by the pool. Do you attack girls in short skirts or swimsuits?”

Whether or not Chocotravel benefits from the ads or decides to change strategy in future campaigns remains to be seen. What is clear is that they’ve made a splash in the market place — though slightly bigger and messier than they likely intended.