ASA refers MyTravel to CAP over misleading holiday ads

Troubled package holiday company MyTravel has been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for making misleading claims offering customers “guaranteed free child places” and “no flight supplements.”

The ad has attracted complaints from rival TUI UK and members of the public. The ASA has asked MyTravel not to use the headline “no flight supplements”, because the offer did not apply to all the company’s holidays. It is also being forced to drop the claim of “guaranteed free child places” because child places were free only at properties marked in brochures with a “free child” symbol.

The advertising watchdog has referred MyTravel to the Committee of Advertising Practice Copy Advice (CAP) team to amend the ad, which was created by Clear Marketing Communications.

The ASA has meanwhile not upheld a complaint against a Guardian Newspapers press ad for The Observer Food Monthly, which shows a rack of spice bottles, one of which has been replaced by a bottle of diazepam. The ad mistakenly used the strapline: “The food and sex special”. The complainant objected that the ad was distressing to those who have suffered ill-effects from taking anti-depressants and was irresponsible because it implied that diazepam could be used safely in cooking.

A press campaign for easyJet, which features a woman’s breasts and the tagline: “Discover weapons of mass distraction” has attracted more than 90 complaints that it is sexist and offensive. The ads are being investigated by the ASA.

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