Advertisement belittling nurses slammed, Fernandes apologises

The offensive advertisement that mentioned ‘lousy nurses’ were placed on the back of AirAsia’s aircraft passenger seats.
The offensive advertisement that mentioned ‘lousy nurses’ were placed on the back of AirAsia’s aircraft passenger seats.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 - Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) slammed AirAsia for an advertisement placed on the back of it’s aircraft seats belittling nurses.

MMA president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan condemned the advertisement stating an advert that belittles any profession is considered offensive.

“It shows utter lack of understanding on the role of nurses which is to care for others in the best possible way,” he said.

The Tune Insurance Holdings advertisement carried a tagline stating: “You want your momma, because you are in the hospital with lousy nurses” was highlighted by MMA.

Tharmaseelan pointed out the advert revealed a condescending attitude that verges on arrogance and a lack of empathy which should be abhorred.

“Such an advertisement gives the idea that Malaysian nurses are lousy and it is painting a bad image of the profession as a whole which is grossly unfair.”

A spokesman from the Malaysian Nurses Association (MNA) said they would reserve their comments until investigations into the matter were completed.

AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said he would personally take this matter up with Tune Insurance Holdings.

“It is a stupid advertisement and I have taken it up with AirAsia’s chief executive officer Aireen Omar who informed me the advertisement will be removed,” he said in a text message.

“We have set up additional controls to ensure that this is not repeated.”

An AirAsia spokesman gave the assurance the advertisement would be removed immediately.

“We have an approval process in place with our advertising agency to ensure that all content supplied by our advertisers is consistent with our brand values.

“Regrettably, in this incident, that process was not followed and we sincerely apologise for this error,” she said.

Tune Insurance apologised for the advertisement and gave the assurance it was never its intention to offend or discriminate the nursing profession.

“The emphasis put forth was to have a family member around when one was sick or injured,” the AirAsia spokesman said.

She said an official apology had been sent to the MNA with regret for any offence caused.