An Airline has been criticised for releasing a photo of a young man passed out on the beach next to an alcohol bottle as part of an advertisement.

Budget airline Ryanair included the tagline: "This could be you" when promoting a flight deal on social media.

The post, which has since been deleted, was met with a flood of outrage and many social media users accused it of making light of the issue of youth binge drinking.

Among them was Ross MacLeod from the UK's Royal National Lifeboat Institution, who wrote: "Really @Ryanair …? Such a poor, lazy, clichéd and stereotyped image of students. Does this really meet your brand guidelines for #marketing and #advertising #campaigns?"

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Another user wrote: "Unreal that Ryanair's Marketing Department signed off on this ad — madness!"

Another said: "Generating outrage as a marketing ploy. Sleazy."

The move certainly generated publicity for an airline known for its controversial moves.

A spokesperson for the company told the UK's Sun that the post was made by their social media team who "were recalling all the wonderful sightseeing, singsongs and cultural activities they enjoyed as teenagers".