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. Sheryl

    @ banasy:
    Do you know what that young man Ellis can do with his tongue?

    June 29, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fernace

    Iwant to know how in the hecklers heaven can this airline offer such cheap fares? Do they have engines? I can't ride the ATx. Metro bus any cheaper!!

    June 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Daria Olsen

    What's a bigot?

    June 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    Hi backatcha.
    I've no personal knowledge of what Ellis' tongue can do, of course, but I've read about many of his escapades here.
    Why, do you?

    June 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy


    I know, right???

    June 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    Just one more observation:
    If *anyone* ever derserved to be made fun of, it's Blago.
    I've been making fun of him for *years*!

    June 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sheryl

    Is that really the former Governor's hair?
    I mean like, does it actually grow out of his head?

    June 29, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    It's his hair, Sheryl.

    June 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    His hair reminds me of those molded plastic wigs I had as a child; one brunette, one blonde, and one redhead.

    June 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sheryl

    I have lovely, straight, blond hair. I let it grow very long and then sell it: I'm saving the money I get for it so I can buy myself a nice warm winter wrap of ermine-lined Bargusin sable. I've been looking for Ellis–waited three hours at Louis XIV...four martinis, and they wouldn't serve me any more, hate coffee–where is that green-eyed little swimmer?
    What on earth could he be doing, and why did he take my Oil of Olay?

    June 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mitch

    Don't know who Ellis is or Sheryl, but Sheryl-you crack me up. You must be popular at parties.

    June 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy


    Were they dirty martinis?
    God, I love those!
    Just ask the cabana boy for a little help; maybe he's seen Ellis.
    I've found cabana boys to be *very* helpful.

    June 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Has anybody here ever heard of a bar named Louis XIV?
    Ellis has left six messages on my phone, and he wants me to meet him there.

    June 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I like extra-dry Beefeater double martinis with a carefully sliced twist.
    Now Ellis's wife is trying to find him here–how did she get my number?

    June 29, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bill

    Where in the world do companies find these idiots, inside a cereal box? Also when is this dumbing down of America going to stop? It's F ing ridiculous! There I used a naughty word too!

    June 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
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