THE EDITOR: For quite some time now, readers will no doubt have been regaled with an advertising blitz by Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) in the daily newspapers. Now these ads were not about the great deals CAL was offering to its various destinations. They appeared to be more about making us aware that CAL existed – really very useful.
For example, there was a two-page, full-colour spread whose only “message” (if you could call it that) was a quote from Winston “Gypsy” Peters: “Carnival is a festival that embodies our identity. It’s an expression of a melting pot of races and cultures throughout the region coming together to welcome the world to the greatest show on earth.”
CAL’s money (which is really ours) should be spent giving people reasons why they should choose CAL over other airlines.
In another two-page spread, all CAL does is quote from Black Stalin’s Caribbean Man: “Like one race, from the same place…So we must push one common intention, is for a better life in de region.” There are many other examples.
No doubt, because of the volume of ads placed, CAL will get a discount but, at a typical price of $10,000 for a full-page, full-colour ad, it would have spent $20,000 for each of the multiple placements for two-page spreads to brag that it gave Stalin $20,000. Apart from being in poor taste, how smart is that? Why not also give him, or someone else, the advertising money and forget the gloating?
On another note, can CAL tell us how much money it spent as a sponsor of Machel Monday, and what benefits did it derive?
I cannot remember seeing any local ads from American Airlines or Air Canada, for instance, yet their planes fly almost full almost all the time. Can CAL tell us if these beautiful, expensive ads have increased the number of people using its services? If not, CAL has been wasting my tax dollars. Perhaps it’s uncomfortable making a small profit and feels more at home being in the red?
NOEL KALICHARAN via e-mail