Recruiting on Airplanes

25 Jun 2007 // places

On the way back to San Francisco from Rome, I flew United Airlines. Meagre though the creature comforts were (not a patch on the entertainment system of Singapore Airlines), to pass the time, we got to watch television. American television. This meant good old American sitcoms. And American ads.

Still, I was mighty surprised, between episodes of "All of Us" and "Men in Trees", to see a commercial for the Central Intelligence Agency.

"Are you interested in clandestine activities?" they asked. "Do you like international travel?"

"If so, go to, and see what opportunities await you."

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It was saddening to see the CIA reduced to advertising on international flights for recruitment. (Given the flight was from Rome, we can safely assume that they are looking for European-experienced recruits). Or laugh my ass off, as they were going for the same target audience as All of Us.

Appartently, on the cia website, they have a news article about their award-winning ad campaign.