Irish airline advertises to captive audience

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DUBLIN -- Ryanair, the Dublin-based discount airline, will introduce in- flight advertising on overhead TV sets by year-end. The Irish airline hopes to have the new system up and running for the December/January Christmas season, when the company expects to carry over 250,000 passengers on European continental routes.

Instead of headphones, the sound accompanying the production will be broadcast on the airplane's PA system, but "not at a loud level." The video will change each month and will contain around five minutes of "entertainment" content. The remaining 20 minutes will consist of the promotion of Ryanair services and paid commercials, to what the airline describes as a "captive audience."

Ryanair says it has not decided whether or not to allow filmed advertising for alcohol or tobacco products, which is not permitted in most European Union countries.

According to Ryanair's research, 78% of the airline's passengers fall into the high-spending ABCI categories.

A 10-second spot on the in-flight video will cost $1,000, with a full reach of 468,000 passengers. A 30 second spot will cost $2,000 and a 60 second slot $3,600.

"This is a new Irish advertising medium which is unique in so far as it is encompasses a pan-European market enhanced by the fact that Ryanair now flies to France, Brussels, Sweden and the U.K.," said Eugene Grey, Managing Director of Lansboro, the company responsible for producing the video.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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