This past month, netizens were outraged by a pair of seemingly calculated photo leaks of scantily-clad models representing two of Vietnam’s most popular brands.
Appearing on Sep. 19 on the Facebook timeline of ‘Lingerie Queen’ Ngoc Trinh, the first set of leaked photos showed nine models in red-and-yellow, VietJetAir-branded bikinis. In the smartphone-captured flicks, the models perform luggage checks, amorously salute viewers and do all the other traditional duties of VietJetAir bikini models.
VietJetAir first made sexy headlines in 2012, with an inflight bikini show celebrating the budget airline’s inaugural flight to Nha Trang. “It was the first flight to a beach town,” a VietJetAir official said at the time, “so we came up with the idea of getting a number of girls in bikinis to dance and make passengers happy to improve our customer service.”
This time around, some potential passengers objected. “That’s just plane wrong,” quipped Facebook commenter Charlie Wall. Long ‘TheGoddamn’ Nguyen suggested a new slogan: “Welcome to VietJetAir Air. We got lots of tits.”
Not everyone disagreed with the idea. Nhien, commenting on tuoitrenews.vn, saw the photos as “fun and friendly”.
“Imagine foreign visitors seeing this fun ad and becoming more interested in coming to Vietnam,” he wrote. “Why be so conservative towards a type of publicity that other international airlines have used long before?”
Meanwhile in Saigon...
As the maybe-calculated VietJetAir scandal unfolded on the pages of the internet, an uncanny coincidence was brewing. And on Sep. 24, Facebook was again atwitter over photos of models in red-and-yellow swimwear — this time taken within the walls of Saigon barbecue restaurant Quan Ut Ut.
Apparently leaked by Okinawan male model ‘Taint’, the photos show his fellow models in playful repose, looking sexy, sassy and generally like guys you’d want to be sharing one of Quan Ut Ut’s communal tables with.
Ut Ut owner Tim Scott said, “These photos were leaked from a test shooting under a contract between Quan Ut Ut and Uranus [Modeling Agency]. They are not official promotional photos of Quan Ut Ut.”
Tim was kind enough to answer a few questions:
Who are the sexy dudes?
They are international men of the catwalk. They were recruited from Uranus Talent Agency. They are somewhat elusive in public due to their fame, and live more or less in disguise most of the time.
Are those custom mankinis?
Strict measurements were taken for each model to ensure ‘spillage’ was eliminated, [along with] maximum comfort for the lengthy photo shoot.
Will the mankini-clad studs be flipping burgers??
Would you eat a burger flipped by them? We didn’t think so.
How has this affected your September ‘Month of Love’ promotion? Did more people start kissing after the photos got leaked?
We shudder to think what happened behind closed doors at the homes of people downloading these images. Business as usual at Quan Ut Ut though.
Not so Fast
A strange story gets stranger — in the case of the Quan Ut Ut photo leak, a number of Facebook forums ‘unleaked’ them, deleting the images amid a flurry of gay-bashing and LOLs.
In point of fact, even the fine periodical you hold in your hands couldn’t run them. To get a glimpse of the Uranus Modeling Agency forbidden fruit, click on haivl.com/photo/4723142, where you’ll see the cheeky mankini photos contrasted with the totally-printable ladies of VietJetAir.