The airports authority Aena has adverts in the press which say “help us to look after you on your journey”. To all intents and purposes, this is a Spanish ministry of transport ad. The government’s logo appears with the ministry’s name. Aena may be 49% privately owned, but the state’s majority stake counts for much when it comes to shelling out for Covid advertising.

“The Aena airports have implemented all the safety measures for Covid-19. But don’t forget that your collaboration is necessary.” This is some of the ad’s wording, which is particularly pertinent given a complaint about crowding at Son Sant Joan Airport that coincided with the ad appearing. A Twitter user drew attention to a departure lounge that was full of passengers who were waiting for three flights which were scheduled to depart over a ten-minute period. As well as the passengers who were seated and waiting to be called, there were the queues once they had been called.

Masks were being worn, but social distancing was generally conspicuous by its absence. This was a matter for Aena, not for the passengers. Their necessary collaboration can only be as good as all the safety measures which have been implemented. Aena said that this was a specific occurrence. There had not been a similar one, and measures (it’s always measures, isn’t it) will be taken to ensure that there isn’t a repetition. One hopes so. It would be a shame to see that advertising spend go to waste.

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