Sweden's Trade Ethical Council against Sexism in Advertising, known by its Swedish initials ERK, accused Ryanair of sexism after the discount airline ran ads featuring a scantily clad schoolgirl promoting a fare sale coinciding with the start of the school year, The Local reported Friday.
The ERK said the woman "is used to catch the eye in a sexual manner that is offensive to women in general."
Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara argued that the advertisements simply "reflect reality."
"This is the Britney Spears generation," he said. "Young women around Europe want to look their best."
Ryanair said in a statement that company officials "are sure that the anti-funsters at the ERK do not speak for the majority of the famously liberal and easy going Swedes.
"The ad simply reflects the way a lot of young girls like to dress. We hope the old farts at the ERK loosen up a little," the statement said. "Ryanair defends the right of Swedish girls to take their clothes off."
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