Airline ad pokes fun at Blagojevich
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted Monday on 17 of 20 corruption counts.
June 29th, 2011
03:36 PM ET

Airline ad pokes fun at Blagojevich

Spirit Airlines' latest quirky marketing campaign takes a swing at convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The promotion on the deep-discount airline's website features a photo of a big-haired Blagojevich look-alike whose clothes turn into an orange prison jumpsuit before vertical bars close over the image.

"We got these fares and they're f-ing golden," the title says.

"We are guilty of selling seats but we don't expect to serve time," the sale page reads.

Blagojevich was convicted Monday of 17 of 20 corruption charges relating to his attempt to peddle President Obama's U.S. Senate seat after the 2008 presidential election. A federal grand jury indicted Blagojevich in April 2009.

At the time of his arrest, prosecutors said court-authorized wiretaps caught Blagojevich expressing frustration that Obama transition officials were "not willing to give me anything except appreciation."

"I've got this thing, and it's (expletive) golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing. I'm not gonna do it," Blagojevich was quoted as saying in an FBI recording.

The Miramar, Florida-based airline is known for responding to news events with irreverent marketing pushes. Earlier this month, without mentioning disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, the airline launched a "weiner sale" touting $9 fares "too hard to resist."

It came up with an "Eye of the Tiger" sale just days after golfer Tiger Woods' 2009 auto accident; the cartoon ad showed a tiger crashing an SUV into a fire hydrant.

A Spirit ad during last summer's Gulf of Mexico oil spill didn't go over so well. It showed a woman slathered in suntan lotion (from a green-and-yellow bottle) with the invitation, "Check out the oil on our beaches!"

The current Spirit sale offers $17 one-way fares on certain round trips, available only to members of the airline's $9 Fare Club, which costs $59.95 a year. The sale ends at midnight ET Wednesday. The sale price does not include taxes, baggage fees and other fees.

Blagojevich's people were not amused. "No matter what you think about the former governor, most of the public knows he has a wife and two young daughters," Glenn Selig, a spokesman for Blagojevich, said Wednesday. "Nothing about what's happened is funny, and Spirit's marketing campaign is in poor taste."

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Filed under: Aviation • Crime • Politics • Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    This is very good advertising. It telegraphs the message to me so that I cannot forget it, and I would also remember the airline that sent me the message.
    I'm sure that the ad agency checked out the legality of the campaign.

    June 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Trollie McTrollenstein

    Troll on, Spirit!

    June 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    It's so refreshing to behold this profiting off of someone else's misery. Let's all hope the plane doesn't crash and Blago uses the incident to try and hold the sodomists at bay.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Joey, it's the same ad agency that Iraq hired to promote Iran as a better 'occupation'. The campaign didn't work. Neither did the advertising campaign. he he (and I doubt this one will either)

    June 29, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eloise

    I don't like the ad at all. Where is the love and compassion for someone who has gave his life for the good of the people.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Are you talking about Blago, who made a mockery of the State of Illinois. Also, what happened monies in the funds he emptied–such as the teachers' pension fund? You need to get real!!!

      June 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I applaud the agency, and the airline, for trying to make money.
    If the ventures fail, they will stop these efforts and try other things.
    It's all good.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sheryl

    I'm just curious as to whether or not that Spirit airliner will have a closet large enough for me to hang my baby-seal wrap without its being crushed, poor little thing.
    And I just love when they serve the good passengers champagne before take-off...I mean, like Spirit does that, don't they?

    June 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sheryl

    Eloise...what a pretty name! I think she lives in my hotel.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sandra

    I personally think it's ingenious. This is a free country right? Of course his "peeps" were not amused, they got caught with there hand in the cookie jar, so to speak. To bad. They should've thought of that to begin with. Also, he brought this on himself. He is NOT a victim. And yes, everyone knows he's married and she went right along with, and aided to, all of this as well, so SHE is NOT a victim, either. I do feel badly for the kids, again, however, THEY BOTH should've thought about them along time ago, unfortunately, they didn't, which also leads one to wonder why child services hasn't stepped in...

    June 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sheryl

    "The sins of the fathers..."
    A broken clock is right twice a day.

    June 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jules sand-perkins

    @ Sheryl:
    That's blasphemy.
    Never do that again.

    June 29, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    I agree fully with JIF.
    This will go over big, as most of Spirit's campaigns do.


    I don't know where you came from, but please don't go away.
    I love, love, love your sense of humor.

    June 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jules sand-perkins

    @ Sheryl:
    Don't blaspheme!

    June 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy

    O humorless one, please look up "tongue-in-cheek and get back to me.
    Thank you.

    June 29, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Hey Sheryl–
    Meetcha @ Louis XIV @ 10:00 PM.

    June 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
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