Ad campaign with Georgia Salpa misses the mark PDF Print E-mail

There’s an initiative many people haven’t heard much about going on in Ireland these days. What they are is a series of ad campaigns designed to protect people traveling alone from something called “rogue taxis”. These taxis abduct passengers who think they’re getting into a car with a licensed taxi driver. Instead, they are driven off to some secluded area where the abductor chooses to do whatever they want to the person -- which in most cases is either rob or sexually assault them.

So these campaigns have started to catch the attention of marketing firms in-and-around Europe lately; specifically in Dublin, Ireland where a company known as VIP Taxi Services have put together an initiative of their own to try and raise awareness about the dangers of rogue taxis who pose a threat to women. The message they are trying to send is clear: their company is conscious of the well-being and safety of people who travel alone.

The only problem is, the model they've chosen to feature in their campaign is the sexy and sultry Georgia Salpa; and people at the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre aren’t too fond of the ads.

Before we continue, here’s a look at the photos used by VIP Taxis:

Now the first thing I think when looking at these pictures is: this lady is going to cause a lot of traffic accidents if she continues to hail cabs with her shirt halfway unbuttoned.

The second thing I think is: there has to be some other way these guys can get their message across.

The centre’s CEO Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop seems to agree with my first assessment. She describes the ad in one word: “inappropriate”. O’Malley-Dunlop didn’t see the point of using Salpa in the ad, and said that an image like this objectifies women. “This ad is at variance with what they’re trying to do,” she said. “If you want to say that VIP Taxis are safe, then why not just say that. Let VIP Taxis tell us that. But I don’t see the point of it.” She also emphasized that people are very much mistaken when they associate rape or sexual assault with the way a woman is dressed. The notion of: “Look at how she was dressed… she was asking for it,” is one of the most commonly misperceived ideologies out there.

However, there are also those who defend the ad shot by VIP Taxis, like Liz O’Callaghan one of the company’s directors. O’Callaghan says that Salpa has been a customer of VIP Taxis’ for years now, and that’s why they decided to use her in the photo shoot... (as if we're supposed to buy that). She also added that the photos are not provocative in her opinion, and that they display a woman who is wearing fashionable clothing, and who catches the eye.

Oh she catches the eye, alright. The eye of just about every cabbie within a 50-mile radius of her legs. Heck, I even bet the cabbies protesting in the streets of Athens would end their strike if it meant chaperoning the lovely Miss. Salpa around town.

The 26-year-old has mostly been used in ads attempting to promote sex as a sales tactic, and while this ad definitely turns some heads, I personally think it missed the mark when it comes to the meaning of this particular initiative. Just sayin'.

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Georgia Salpa is a budding model who was born in Athens, Greece. She lived in Greece until she was four years old with her Greek father and Irish mother. She later moved to Ireland with her mom after her parents had separated, and became a model at the age of 14 when she was recruited by a talent agency. Today, Salpa enjoys traveling back to her homeland for at least three months out of the year.

Here’s some footage of Greece's finest on the set of a photo shoot from 2010. Enjoy. And let us know what you think of the ad in the comment section below.

By Staff Writer -- Jonathan Bliangas