Travellers & industry professionals have jumped in to defend agents against Webjet’s latest marketing campaign, which has been deemed as offensive towards frontline consultants.

The new TVC started rolling out across major TV channels including SBS this week during peak viewing times such as the popular news hour.

Running for 30 seconds, the ad features two women chatting and packing for an upcoming holiday when one says her agent tried to limit her flight options to just five. Check it out below:

KarryOn has attempted to contact Webjet for comment.

In the meantime, travel agents and their clients have gone online to express concern over the ad.

Among the agents to have taken offense to the ad is Kerri Cottell, who said in a comment on Webjet’s Facebook page that the as “bad mouths travel agents” who for years have been arranging people’s dream holidays.

Kerri

Holidaymaker, Alex Mawby said she found of Webjet’s advert off-putting because a business shouldn’t have to ‘slander other companies’ in order to secure bookings.

I regularly use travel agents to book flights and always find them very friendly and helpful and i’m [sic] not about to stop because of a very poorly thought out advertising campaign.”

Alex Mawby, Holidaymaker

Rachel Barnett shared a similar stance, saying she was disappointed by the ad and finds travel agents to be incredibly helpful, especially during travel disruptions like the recent Bali flight cancellations.

Just saw your ad and I’m very disappointed. After getting stuck in Bali thank goodness for our agent as our airlines communication was non existent. ???

Posted by Rachel Barnett on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Selwyn Dobias of Victoria concurred, saying “any respectable company should always adopt a professional approach and never ever bag its competitors”.

“Your latest advertising campaign slamming travel agents is of very poor taste and shows a hint of desperation,” Dobias said.

“If I was ever to use Webjet… I certainly will not in the future, as any company that criticises it’s competitors shows its true colours.”

Scrolling through the list of agent and consumer Facebook comments, we spotted Judy Vincent’s post which said she was so disappointed by the ad that she’d be reporting it to the Advertising Bureau Standards.

“Just disgusted that Webjet has to mock travel agents and all the experience we have! I will be complaining to the Advertising Standards Bureau,” she said.

“No wonder clients come to me and ask me to fix stuff they’ve booked on the Internet!”

Other industry professionals such as hotelier, Elliott Miller, also jumped to their defence by stating that the ad is “way off mark” and “de-valuing” to bricks and mortar travel agents

As a Hotelier that sees the value of the bricks and mortar travel agent i think your advertising is way of the mark and…

Posted by Elliott Miller on Monday, January 4, 2016

KarryOn contacted AFTA today who declined to comment.

Have you seen the Webjet ad? What were your thoughts?