The latest victims of a controversial marketing idea are Coke and Delta Air Lines which are apologizing over what some passengers thought were “creepy” napkins.
The allegedly offensive items that prompted a swift removal and apology encouraged passengers to enjoy some high-altitude flirtation with imprinted “introduction” napkins distributed by Delta, in a partnership with Diet Coke, NBC News reported.
“Be a little old school. Write down your number and give it to your plane crush. You never know,” the small print on the napkins read.
“Because you’re on a plane full of interesting people and hey you never know,” the napkins featuring the Diet Coke logo read, leaving space for passengers to jot down their name and phone number before handing it to someone else.
— Mike J (@MJJoe) February 1, 2019
The companies issued apologies and Delta began pulling the napkins last month after some social media criticism. The airline admitted that it “missed the mark with this one,” according to NBC News.
Hey @Delta and @CocaCola These napkins are creepy AF. Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days’ and they sure as heck don’t want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today. Not a good look. pic.twitter.com/PJAiurFRMh
— ducksauz (@ducksauz) January 21, 2019
They must have meetings called how can we make our passengers even more uncomfortable
— Baylorado (@Baylorado) February 8, 2019
way to encourage stalking in a tightly confined space where people are stuck for at least 2 hours, guys.
— Angry Moderate 2020 (@PaulWartenberg) February 8, 2019
But many actually thought the idea was “fun” and took to social media to give Delta and Diet Coke a thumbs up. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee joked about the marketing gimmick in a tweet using some self-promotion of his own.
Dang! That’s why so many flight attendants and nice looking women kept giving me napkins on my @Delta flights. I thought they just wanted to sign up for my daily https://t.co/vU4G3fOx7z newsletter! https://t.co/SSeb7TjheC
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) February 7, 2019
“Today” show co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb dismissed the outrage and said they were not offended.
“At least they were trying to have a little fun, Guthrie said as Kotb called the idea “funny.”
Fox News’ Laura Ingraham asked “What’s the big deal?” in a discussion about the controversy with Raymond Arroyo on his ‘Friday Follies’ for ‘The Ingraham Angle.’
Twitter users were disappointed that the companies succumbed to pressure by a few who lacked a sense of humor.
It’s just a napkin people stop being offended by everything.
— FEN (@FEN06044583) February 7, 2019
It’s fun, it’s different, it’s slightly daring and it’s old school. Nothing creepy about it. No one is forced to participate. Wish more companies took risks like this without fear of people complaining or getting overly PC.
— Jay (@YNOTLAJ) February 7, 2019
I love the napkins! Such a cute idea. Nothing to be offended about. If you are, grow up!!! Have a little fun.
— Teri Otway (@TeriOtway) February 8, 2019
If you are creeped out by a napkin with a clever marketing ploy on it then you need to re-evaluate your life.
— Skip Westfall (@Swestfall) February 7, 2019
Geez, lighten up. If you don’t like it just don’t give anyone your number and don’t accept it from someone who offers. Or take a step back and be flattered that someone worked up the courage to give you theirs. That’s called “normal”
— Mike H.B. (@MhhHarris) February 7, 2019
Many celebrated the short-lived idea on Twitter.
— Payal Lohia (@payalofthoughts) February 4, 2019
Hey @Delta and @CocaCola your napkins are fine. I actually laughed when I saw them on my flight from Madrid. I didn’t feel encouragement to do anything with other passengers just cuz of the piece of paper under my drink. People need to calm down
— Sergey Avanesyan (@avanesyan_s) February 7, 2019
— Ben Starling III (@benstarling3) February 1, 2019
— Potatoghost (@davidpaterimos) February 7, 2019
get over yourself! these are fantastic! you don’t have to fly #delta or leave your house … thank goodness someone is trying to bring fun and joy to flying!
— dale b. cohen (@dcdesignstudio) February 7, 2019
I’ve seen people writing numbers on plane tickets. This is a cute idea. I like old school. It didn’t say you HAD to write your number down and if you don’t want the number, they collect trash on planes.
— Shellie (@shellie_83_t) February 7, 2019
Thank you @Delta and @DietCoke for having a sense of humor. As a Platinum Medallion member of your airline, I think it was witty and different. Happily married 25 years and not limber or small enough for the #MileHighClub I’ll stick to my @DietCoke at the #DeltaSkyClub
— Brighton Bacchus (@bbacchus818) February 7, 2019
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