Pack Less. Weigh Less. Pay Less.

Here’s an argument for being a lightweight.
Philadelphia’s Derrie-Air is charging customers based on a sliding scale. The more you weigh, the more you pay.

After all, it takes more fuel—more energy—to get more weight from point A to point B. So we will charge passengers based on how much mass they add to the plane. The heavier you and your luggage are, the more trees we’ll plant to make up for the trouble of flying you from place to place.

By the way, the Derrie-Air campaign is a fictitious advertising campaign created by Philadelphia Media Holdings to test the results of advertising in our print and online products and to stimulate discussion on a timely environmental topic of interest to all citizens.
Philadelphia Media Holdings–the parent company for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and–is run by former ad man, Brian Tierney.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Not sure what they really hope to test by presenting a fake product with clichéd and contrived ads. As if consumers need more reasons—even fake ones—to hate the airline industry. Guess that’s why I’m not in media.

  2. The only fair way to discriminate is by Wealth.
    Charge rich people more, they can afford it and they are usually a bigger pain in the ass anyway.

  3. Let’s be honest for a second and admit that sitting next to a really, really fat person on those tiny plane seats is NOT fun. You both paid the same price for the same seat and he/she is taking up more of your seat. And with the rise of obesity, we will have to do something about air travel until people wake up and star taking care of themselves.
    The airline industry has already tried to make obese passengers pay for an extra seat, and we all know what the reaction to that was. I don’t see them making the seats any bigger any time soon (because let’s face it they are fucking small). so how about instead of punishing the fat people for being fat, they offer a discount or something to the people who found themselves sitting next to the fat person? Or they can just make the seats a little big bigger.

  4. Well, Jane, the problem is bound to take care of itself, as the airlines are going out of business anyway. Unfortunately, your suggestions will be hard to execute, particularly since discrimination against heavy people is becoming an issue. Plus, the airlines are already cutting back on legitimate miles programs, so they’re not about to reward anyone for sitting next to a heavy person. Finally, you’ll also open a Pandora’s Box regarding who will define a heavy person—shall we have things like the “If your bag can’t fit in this space, you’ll have to check it” devices for humans?
    Going back to my original reaction to this media test, I’m more offended by the morons behind it. As an advertising professional, I found the concept to be like something out of a student’s portfolio. The sexism, sexual innuendos and even the bias against the obese are hardly things our industry should want to display as clever. Plus, what are you really testing by showing a totally fake product? Would the results be different if they were selling your standard tube of toothpaste? Of course the results would be different. So what’s the point? If they wanted to do a test and get some positive press, they could have used the space to advertise a nonprofit organization. That way, there would have been winners all around. Instead, some idiots developed sophomoric bullshit that required press for clarification. Look for the creators to submit the garbage for awards.

  5. Carl LaFong says:

    Didn’t everybody’s favorite sexist pig Neil French do something very similar 100 years ago or so? I seem to recall he created a campaign for a fictional brand of beer in order to demonstrate the power of print.