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January 5, 2023 11:31 am  #1

Why Are These Commercials Still Running On Radio?

I was surprised to hear ongoing spots for Sunwing, the airline that purports to jet people to warm vacation destinations in the depths of a Toronto winter, still being played on the radio. 

The company has been in a glaring spotlight in the past few weeks, after meltdowns in Mexico stranded Canadian passengers in the triple digits, forcing many to sleep at the airport for days on end. Then there's the baggage debacle, which has left hundreds if not thousands of pieces of luggage lost or left behind, ruining the vacations of those hoping for a hassle-free time in the sun.

The fact the company has either refused or been unable to respond to angry callers or the media and stayed almost dead silent during this mess just makes it worse. And now the federal government is threatening to hold hearings into the tripped-up trips, making the airline's black eye seem deeper. And on every newscast, there are now angry and frustrated former passengers proclaiming they will never use the carrier again, decrying its terrible service, lack of responsiveness, and demanding their money back, funds they may never receive.

And yet, there were the commercials, promising exotic getaways, still running on stations all across the GTA. Yes, it's prime vacation time, but if I were in charge (and it's probably a good thing I'm not) I think I would have pulled the spots until the heat dies down.  

Every time a Sunwing commercial airs, I think of the nightmares of those folks who couldn't get home, not to mention other flights that ran into problems. That's hardly the image I would want for my company. Yet they're still on the radio. 


January 5, 2023 12:00 pm  #2

Re: Why Are These Commercials Still Running On Radio?

Sunwing has had highly negative media stories every winter season for as long as I can remember - except for the past two winters for obvious reasons. They’ve likely taken a gamble that people want to travel badly enough that they’re willing to take the risk - after all, they continued to advertise during previous PR nightmares and they continued to get business.

I also think a lot of people have forgotten about the previous PR disasters they’ve had. Easy to forget when it’s been a few years.


January 5, 2023 2:12 pm  #3

Re: Why Are These Commercials Still Running On Radio?

You may be right and every politician knows the public has extremely short memories or most of them would never get re-elected. But this is still fresh and ongoing. And every time I hear that jingle, all I can think of is that woman in the TV news clip saying, "I will never fly Sunwing again as long as I live." That's going to take a while to fade. 

     Thread Starter

January 5, 2023 2:53 pm  #4

Re: Why Are These Commercials Still Running On Radio?

And here is Sunwing's take in an excerpt from The Canadian Press today:

    Sunwing has issued an apology to passengers left stranded after
winter storms upended operations but says ``most of our customers
enjoyed their holidays with minimal disruption.'' By Brett Bundale.

So there passengers, go suck an egg.



January 5, 2023 3:03 pm  #5

Re: Why Are These Commercials Still Running On Radio?

Sunwing bought the air time to run the ads that air. 
NOW, who in their right mind is going to produce an anti Sunwing ad and pay for the spots? 

Producing is one thing...but we all know how expensive advertising on the radio can be! 

RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.


January 5, 2023 4:12 pm  #6

Re: Why Are These Commercials Still Running On Radio?

If Sun Wing pulled the spots they would be admitting defeat.  Not running any commercials or to stop advertising is about the worst thing they could do.  News reports or what upset customers say on TV is something they can't control
What they can control at this point is what they are going to do in the future so this doesn't happen again and what they are going to do for their customers who were rightly pissed off about the mess.  The damage has been done, but what Sun Wing does now is the most important.  

Many people, as angry as they may be now, can be quite forgiving.  These customers, especially those that have a history with Sun Wing will also take into account all of the trips that were enjoyable and had no issues or problems.
To keep at least a portion of these travellers and for potential customers the company is going to need to show that they understand the anger, have and will correct the problem.  Most important tell them this is what we are doing for you (whether it be a refund, free trip, discounts etc.) with our apology for our mistakes.

It will cost them lots of money but that is the price of staying in business, and rebuilding their reputation. 


January 5, 2023 10:34 pm  #7

Re: Why Are These Commercials Still Running On Radio?

Reminds me of a quote I recently heard...
"Advertising is the tax businesses pay for poor customer service."