A travel agency has been slapped with a $200.5-million fine for its online ad campaign that accused Black women of “living in a society where racism exists”.
Travel agent Fliggy Travel said it has been hit with $200-million in fines since launching its campaign, which called Black women “living under apartheid”.
Fliggeys ad, which appeared on a number of black-owned travel agencies, was designed to highlight the plight of Black women in the United States.
It highlighted the stories of a woman in Georgia, a woman living in Canada, and a woman who was in the US before she was killed by police in Texas.
“You know you’re living under apartheid, and that’s what this ad was about,” said travel agency executive director David Johnson.
The ad, he said, was meant to highlight that Black women were living under “black death” in America.
Johnson said the company would appeal the decision.
“We don’t feel that we have done anything wrong, and I think that we were in a position where we needed to respond to the ad,” he said.
“I think that what we did is a reasonable response.”
The travel agency is also the first to be fined for running an advertisement that used a photo of a Black woman wearing a necklace that read “I’m Black and I’m proud”.
The ad was created in February 2017 by Fliggys, which is based in Vancouver.
It said that the “problem is we all wear the same bracelet”.
The company said it would be reviewing its advertising policies.
“If we’re able to make changes that are in the best interests of the brand, we will,” said Fligs spokesperson, Jennifer McNeill.
In a statement, the company said that it “takes full responsibility for our ad that was clearly offensive, and we apologise to our customers and our community for this.”
“We are committed to creating a welcoming and diverse travel environment that is respectful of all of our customers.
The advertising campaign was designed for Black women living in the South and the Southwest, where Black people make up less than 15 per cent of the population. “
This was a mistake, and the company is taking full responsibility and taking immediate action to correct it.”
The advertising campaign was designed for Black women living in the South and the Southwest, where Black people make up less than 15 per cent of the population.
The ads also featured women from the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
The travel industry in Canada has faced a number, including a $30-million settlement with a woman and her family after the company’s online ad called her “slave”, a slur for Black people.
In 2016, a travel agency in Ontario was fined $15.4-million after an online advertisement called Black people “criminals”, the Star reported.
Fligys has been involved in a number advertising controversies in the past.
The company faced fines and fines of $15,000 in 2016 for using a racist photo in a promotional video.
In 2018, it was fined for an ad that featured a man with a knife and a baby girl, which was deemed offensive to a number ethnic groups, the Toronto Star reported at the time.
Fligs ads have been criticized by a number celebrities including actor Michael Caine, comedian Patton Oswalt and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Fliggerys has also been sued by a Canadian woman over her use of an image of a man holding a gun to her head, which offended people of different races, according to CBC News.
“Fliggy has done a lot of bad things and I don’t think they are very good for the brand,” Mr. Johnson told the CBC.
“That is a mistake.”
A spokesperson for Fligy declined to comment further.