Winston Aldworth 's Opinion

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: The risque business of safety videos

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Still from Air New Zealand in flight safety video 'Safety In Paradise', using Sports Illustrated models.
Still from Air New Zealand in flight safety video 'Safety In Paradise', using Sports Illustrated models.

They've done it again.

Air New Zealand's flair for getting media attention around their safety videos is a thing of wonder. Their latest, featuring four bikini models from the Sports Illustrated swimwear edition together with some Cook Islands locals, got Pam Corkery fired up in the pages of the Herald and TV3's Hilary Barry tut-tutting on Twitter.

I'll raise my hand and say the video seems pretty innocuous to me. I'd guess that the bikini angle would come from the fact that, at this time of year, the travel and airline industries on these shores are starting to swing their focus on to Pacific Island breaks over winter.

The SI swimsuit edition is tacky, but not vulgar. Over in Britain, people involved in "No More Page 3" - a campaign to stop The Sun from running pictures of topless women on page three each day - wouldn't consider New Zealand's media to be heavily sexualised.

Air New Zealand would have known this debate would emerge, and they'd also have known that most consumers would think the video was on the safe side of titillating.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks for censorship debate on these shores, as LA rappers Odd Future - with their lyrics that celebrate awful attitudes and even horrendous violence towards women - were barred from New Zealand.

The surest proof of Air New Zealand's success with its handling of these safety videos is the buzz that goes around before the video is even out.

For their next trick? Who knows?

Perhaps Odd Future telling us the "hoes" are now pointing out the nearest exits. Now that would get a few headlines.

- NZ Herald

Winston Aldworth

Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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