Korean Air withdraws ‘primitive’ ad

June 18, 2012 3:26 pm
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The statement provoked outrage from angry Kenyans on social media who demanded explanation for the use of the word “primitive” to describe them/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 16 – Korean Air has removed an offensive advertisement from its website that described Kenyan people as having “primitive energy”, after receiving heavy criticism from Kenyans on social media who demanded the airline withdraw the campaign just three days before it starts direct flights to Nairobi.

The ad appeared on the airline’s website www.koreanair.com and read “Fly to Nairobi with Korean Air and enjoy the grand African savanna, the safari tour, and the indigenous people full of primitive energy.”

The statement provoked outrage from angry Kenyans on social media who demanded explanation for the use of the word “primitive” to describe them.

On Monday at 11:22 AM, the airline used its Twitter account @KoreanAir_KE to respond to the controversy, tweeting “Regarding our recent promotional notice of Nairobi, we are checking on this issue accordingly. We sincerely apologise for this situation.”

A few minutes later the account stated “The recent feedback of our notice of Nairobi had been removed from our website, and we will resume the page after revision.”

On the Oxford Online Dictionary, the word primitive is defined as “relating to or denoting a preliterate, non-industrial society or culture characterised by simple social and economic organisation.”

According to the airline’s Twitter page, Korean Air has “a fleet of 147 aircraft and is one of the world’s top 20 airlines, and operates almost 400 flights per day to 119 cities in 40 countries.”

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