Ryanair sells its front page

In the world of newspapers and magazines, the debate on whether to sell advertising on the front cover is one that flares up from time to time.

For some it’s the holy grail – a line never to be crossed. For others its standard practice. Flight International, the sister publication of Airline Business, use to sell the front cover all the time, but not now.

So, should airlines sell the equivalent of their front page – the website?



Ryanair of course has just started doing it. Not the whole thing, as you’d never be able to book a ticket, but today’s ad – from a UK-based animal charity – is right in the middle of the site and the first thing you look at.

For Ryanair, with its five billion page impressions annually, the website is an extremely attractive property, and certain to raise a substantial sum. But is it worth disrupting the customer experience, if indeed it does, with ads like this?

For websites like Flightglobal.com, advertising is a critical part of how we do business. We have no choice. But airlines do.

What do you think? How would you feel about this trend spreading out among other airlines?



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2 Responses to Ryanair sells its front page

  1. Marcelo Wuo Lopes 22 April, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    As long as airlines keep focusing on their core businnes, that is, flying and transporting people, I don’t see harm.

    I judge more disruptive to customer experience the amount of insurances and other frills they usually hide during ticket purchases (opt-out instead of opt-in). Once I bought an undesirable insurance for 15 euros just because it was already selected and I (my fault) didn’t see.

    The Ad is visible and I click on it if, and only if, I want. No pop-ups allowed!

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