Scott Jordan, a lawyer-turned entrepreneur, developed a vest ten years ago that became a hit among the tech community. The Scottevest contained more than a dozen pockets to carry all sorts of travel and technology items including MP3 players, cell phones, cameras, travel documents, eyeglasses, a water bottle and much more. Over the next decade his line expanded to include jackets with even more pockets including some that could hold a change of clothing. I've recommended his products after using them on vacation and business travel. They are well-made and full of surprises that delight. For example the eyeglass pocket has a pull out cleaning cloth and the water bottle pocket is waterproof.
As the airlines began to impose fees for checking luggage, customers have discovered the jackets can hold so much that it can substitute for a small carryon bag. This angle has been noted by travel correspondents including CBS's Peter Greenberg.
Last month Jordan ran an ad in the NY Times Travel Magazine with the headline "The Most Stylish Way to Beat the System". The add described how his travel clothing has specialized pockets to help you stay organized and avoid extra baggage fees. It received a positive response and he decided to run it in Delta Airlines Sky in-flight magazine. That's when his troubles began.
Delta Sky rejected the ad based on the content. Jordan offered to replace the original headline, “The Most Stylish Way to Beat the System” with “Travel the World in Style & Leave Your Baggage Behind,” but that was also rejected.
When Jordon posted his reaction on YouTube, the magazine told him to take it down, which he refused to do. So as of this date Jordan's adds have been banned, ostensibly because they offer a way to reduce the checked luggage charges.
The rejection of the ad has only served to create greater awareness of his products as well as the industry's dependence on luggage fees, which, in some cases, has been the difference between an airline making a profit instead of taking a loss. Frankly, I wouldn't feel sorry for Jordan. This is the kind of publicity he couldn't buy, being pitted as the David against Goliath. He should only hope they keep rejecting his ads!
One point to note is Jordan's argument appears to be with the magazine's publisher. That's a different entity than Delta Airlines. Whether Delta is behind the rejection in not clear. I asked that of a Delta PR spokesman and he promised to get back to me.(Update: Delta has commented and indicated they are in agreement with the magazine's actions.)Read More...