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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
New Ryanair Army advert 'crass'
Ryanair has been criticised over its latest advertisement
Ryanair has been accused of "scraping the bottom of the barrel" with its latest advertisement which features the Army's withdrawal from NI.

UUP councillor Michael Copeland said it was "insensitive, crass and made a clear political statement".

The advertisement, which promotes the airline's new Belfast flight routes, appeared in newspapers on Monday.

It features SF's Martin McGuinness saying "the company's fares are so low even the British army flew home".

"The Ryanair marketing department are clearly stupid if they think that an advert like this is going to endear their company to a large chunk of the Northern Ireland travelling public," Mr Copeland said.

"To many like me who served in the Army, Northern Ireland is home.

"This shock tactic and 'oh no they didn't' style of advertising may have worked in the past, but I would recommend that Ryanair focuses on what it does best: cheap flights, rather than offending people with crass advertising like this."

A Ryanair spokesperson suggested Mr Copeland should book one of its flights.

"Maybe he needs a break - he certainly needs a sense of humour," they said.

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