Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lufthansa’s Marketing Blunder

Lufthansa sent the following letter (seemingly handwritten and sealed with a lipstick kiss) to its male miles & more customers:


The feeling to be the most important person in your life is wonderful. We share so many unforgettable moments. And you had always a knack to know how you can please me.

I have a small request: there is a Woman’s Special Partner Card based on your Miles & More credit card, which offers substantial benefits. With this card, I will be invited to exclusive events and can participate in amazing promotions.

And last but not least: I will get a two-year subscription to Vogue magazine or Architectural Digest. You know how much I love these magazines.

Of course I also want to collect Miles with my credit card, exactly like you that we can turn into a nice trip – may be to Paris!

I would so much like you to get this partner card for me via

Thanks so much!

Your Special Woman

Needless to say, this promotion did not set well with scores of customers. Many male customers found that it reeked of the 1950s, while female Miles-and-More account holders (including myself) cannot treat their "special man" to a partner card. Lufthansa did not have the foresight to issue a male version of the Woman's Special Credit Card.

The promotion launched a thousand tweets. “Will I be getting a letter from my sweetheart asking if he can have a partner credit card to go shopping with?” tweeted German businesswoman Anke Domscheit-Berg.

Lufthansa halted its campaign and tried to do some much-needed crisis management on Twitter. However, their initial response “we regret the impression that [the campaign] has made,” did little to calm the stormy waters.

Lufthansa also issued a press release reassuring customers that the company was “never intended to convey outdated gender roles or excluding customers from the [partner card] scheme.”

Most of us agree that the campaign is a major faux pas (outdated stereotypes, sexist) . Personally, I wonder it the one that came up with this gem was watching Pan Am at the time......

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