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NEW YORK, NY – One airline’s latest advertising campaign has sparked outrage and controversy!

Spirit Airlines is known in the airline world for risky advertising and lower than average flight fares. Spirit has brought both of those together in their latest advertising campaign. In their new ads, Spirit presents oiled up beauties with the slogan, “Come check out the oil on our beaches.” The ads mock the Gulf oil spill and hasn’t been met with severe criticism.

“It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with today’s beach promotion. We are merely addressing the false perception that we have oil on our beaches, and we are encouraging customers to support Florida and our other beach destinations by continuing to travel to these vacation hot spot,” Spirit said in a statement. “The only oil you’ll find when traveling to our beaches is sun tan oil.”

The ads are promoting a $50 discount on travel to the carrier’s coastal destinations. The slide show, found on the Spirit’s website, features destinations in Cancun, Mexico; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Atlantic City, New Jersey, culminates in a closeup of two green-and-yellow bottles of “Best Protection” 50 SPF sunscreen, with B and P highlighted to stand out.

The ad campaign prompted outcry from news media to Twitter, with people calling it “offensive,” “tasteless,” and “a remarkable poor … choice.”

Spirit Airlines is obviously using their ad campaign to gain publicity. Their fares aren’t rising to astronomical levels and people still fly. They are certainly using the Gulf oil spill as a marketing ploy and it is very unfortunate. The public outcry is probably something they anticipated and to a degree – wanted. Regardless, it’s unfortunate they have to resort to such tactics and it leaves their integrity as oiled up as the Gulf.