After the oil spill in April 2010 sent caustic crude oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, some companies decided that scantily clad women dripping in oil was the best way to get behind this environmental disaster. We think not. But like they say, sex sells:

  • Fluid Hair Salon in Canada ran an ad to promote the haircuts at its holistic salon, which donated all stray strands to recovery efforts in the Gulf (the hair, used to make mats, is surprisingly good at sopping up oil). Fair enough, but if they aren't going to make their customers strip down for a haircut, why does the model have to?
  • A European branch of the California-based Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on the preservation of beaches and oceans, created its own dubious version of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar to raise awareness. Still, we'd prefer month after month of cute baby dolphins instead.
  • Spirit Airlines made a bad pun when they ran flight deals to places like Puerto Rico with the tagline "Check Out the Oil on Our Beaches." After backlash, they pulled the ads of bikini-clad beach bums within a day, saying in a press release, "It is unfortunate that some have misunderstood our intention with today's beach promotion. The only oil you'll find when traveling to our beaches is suntan oil." We get it. But it's a slippery slope — pun intended.

What Do You Think?