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'Cougar' advert draws flak


By Staff Writer

Air New Zealand has drawn the ire of a rape prevention group over a competition aimed at "cougars" – middle-aged women who prefer younger men.

The airline is offering 60 tickets for next month's Wellington Sevens rugby tournament to older women "who prefer their meat rare". The competition invites packs of up to four cougars to send in their photographs to get a chance of winning the tickets.

An accompanying YouTube video parodying wildlife documentaries says cougars are known for living off sparse vegetation during the day and large slabs of meat at night. It goes on to show a "herd of young males gathering at a watering hole" or pub while the cougar waits to pounce on any straggler that separates itself from the herd.

"Eventually the young male is dragged off to the cougar's inner-city apartment where it will cruelly be made to listen to Enya or the Eurythmics".

The campaign's manager, Duane Perrott, said Air New Zealand had been overwhelmed by competition entries and positive feedback on "a good bit of light-hearted humour".

But the Rape Prevention Education organisation said the advert was appalling and degrading to women.

"My question is why is our national carrier promoting sexually predatory behaviour," Director Kim McGregor told yesterday's New Zealand Herald.


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