Korean Air Apologises for "Primitive" Ad Gaffe

The flag carrier of South Korea, Korean Air, has apologised and removed an ad on their website which labelled Kenyans as an "indigenous people full of primitive energy."


  1. An advertisement on the website of Korean Air, which labelled Kenya as a country with "indigenous people full of primitive energy", has been removed after Kenyans riled against it on social media.

    The advert was meant to introduce the carrier's new flight schedule to Nairobi, due to start on the 21st of June from Incheon, Korea.

    "Fly to Nairobi with Korean Air and enjoy the grand African savanna, the safari tour, and the indigenous people full of primitive energy," read the ad, which was posted on the airline's website. 

    Immediately afterward, hash tags like #PrimitiveEnergy went viral, as Kenyans posted a screen grab depicting the ad on both Twitter and Facebook.

    This forced the airline to apologize on its official Twitter account

    "The recent feedback of our notice of Nairobi had been removed from our website, and we will resume the page after revision," read the tweet.

    Korean Air is the flag carrier and the largest airline in South Korea, and is due to start three weekly, non-stop flights to Kenya from Korea. 

    The reaction comes months after Kenyans on Twitter, best known as #KOT, forced the giant news network, CNN, to apologise and remove a video that depicted an isolated grenade attack at a bus station in Nairobi as a flare-up of violence across the country.
  2. Kenyans react on social media on the Korean Air's ad. 
  3. Kenyans on Twitter, better known as #KOT, tried to localise the #PrimitiveEnergy trend and link it to local events. 
  4. As some social media users appealed for calm and acceptance of the apology, others reignited similar events that happened in the recent past, including #SpainIsNotUganda and #SomeoneTellCNN
  5. The Korean Air later apologised for putting up the advert and removed it from its website.