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Airline that has ripped up the ad rule-book

ROSANNA Davison is just the latest celebrity to find herself a victim of the brash communications techniques of Ryanair.

The low-cost airline has ripped up the rule-book on marketing, advertising and public relations, with no subject or person regarded as off-limits by CEO Michael O'Leary.

Advertising campaigns by the airline are mainly gently mocking of celebrities, but other times they can have a nastier edge.

Either way, they tend to resonate with customers and ultimately that is their purpose -- to keep Ryanair visible amid all the noise in the modern media marketplace.

Gordon Brown, Mary O'Rourke, Queen Sofia of Spain, Bertie Ahern, Martin McGuinness, Robert Mugabe and Pope John Paul II are just a small selection of those who have featured in the airline's excitable campaigns.

Sometimes the tone can be gentle, but other times the airline lands itself in real trouble. For example, its use of Martin McGuinness in one advert -- 'Ryanair fares are so low even the British army flew home' -- caused widespread offence in the unionist community.

And in 2002, former minister Mary O'Rourke talked of her "hurt" at being depicted in various Ryanair adverts.

Irish Independent