On the Beach under fire for Holly & Phil advert

By Marco Marcelline
Home » On the Beach under fire for Holly & Phil advert

On the Beach has been accused of bullying after posting an online advert for free airport fast track with the tag-line ‘Get the Holly & Phil treatment’.

The caption to the Facebook post read: “Holly & Phil don’t start with a queue, so why should your holiday?”.

Several users reacted angrily, saying it was ‘cheap’, ‘immature’, ‘below the belt’ and ‘unkind’.

One user wrote: “Really?? Cheap digs won’t make you very popular OTB!! Remember for as many people that don’t like H&P, there’s tens of thousands more that do!!” 

Another wrote: “I think this is appalling advertising! They might be celebrities but they have feelings too and don’t deserve this backlash! The situation has been blown way out of proportion! Shame on you On The Beach Holidays !!”

Another user said: “About a week too late with this. Not funny any more. Just bullying now.” 

However, some of those who saw the advert supported On the Beach. One wrote: “It’s humour, the world would be a boring place without it. People are so uptight, you probably need a holiday!!”

Another complimented the agency on an apparently successful marketing strategy: “As a marketer of 20-odd years, this is standard practice for engagement. The ad is already causing a stir and getting people talking – mission accomplished,” they wrote. 

Daytime TV presenters Holly Willoughby and Phil Schofield were publicly accused of jumping the queue for the late Queen’s lying in state, but they claimed they attended only to record a segment for their morning show. A petition calling for the pair to be sacked has over 75,000 signatures. 

ITV CEO Dame Carolyn McCall has confirmed that they won’t be sacked, and defended them against online attacks. “Sometimes minority shrillness can become very, very loud and picked up as a story,” she said, speaking at the Royal Television Society’s London conference. “I’m hoping it will just pass. It does show you how things spread. How misinformation just spreads and it is very horrible for them.

A spokesperson from On the Beach said, “It’s just a bit of fun, we wanted to share the good news with On the Beach customers that our free holiday perk is back, so sun seekers can whizz past the queues next summer!”.

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