Ryanair uses Iraq anti-hero in ads

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[London] One of Europe's leading low-cost airlines, Dublin-based Ryanair, is using the image of Iraq's former information minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, to take a swipe at rival U.K. airline EasyJet. The former minister, who became a cult anti-hero famed for ignoring the facts to make outrageous claims-such as "I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad"-is depicted as EasyJet's new head of communications. A black-and-white newspaper ad, created in-house by Ryanair, features three quotes in balloons from Mr. Al-Sahaf, who declares "We are beating the Americans," "We're winning the war" and "EasyJet has the lowest fares." Ryanair is waging an ongoing campaign to undermine its rival's reputation for cheap fares. An EasyJet spokeswoman described the ad as "tasteless and insensitive" and an approach they have "come to expect" from Ryanair. She said EasyJet won't make an official complaint because the airline doesn't want to give Ryanair the publicity.
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