The ad for Ryanair was headed “cheapest way to the sun” and listed the destinations “Alicante, Faro, Fuerteventura, Girona, Lanzarote and Malaga. Text stated “Flights from London (Stanstead)”. Small print at the bottom of the ad stated “Book now for summer 2010. Many routes available. See Ryanair.com for details”.
easyJet challenged whether the claim “Cheapest way to the sun” could be substantiated and said the ad was misleading, because it did not make clear what the claim was based on. Ryainair strongly refuted the claims.
However, the ASA ruled that the text have been substantiated by evidence that showed Ryanair offered the cheapest way to the destinations listed during summer 2010.
It said: “Although we noted the screenshots showed they sometimes offered cheaper flights than their nearest competitor, because they did not hold data that showed they were cheaper for the whole period of summer 2010, we concluded the claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.”
The watchdog added “The ad did not make clear what the claim was based on. Without that information, we considered readers were unlikely to know whether the claim was a price promise relating to future fares to the destinations listed, an average claim relating to past fares to any destination, or simply a statement of opinion on the part of Ryanair. Because the ad did not give readers enough information to understand the claim, we concluded it was misleading.”
Other ads banned by the watchdog included a TV ad, for Doro mobile phones, which featured a demonstration of a Doro mobile and stated “Doro mobile phones are stylish, practical and easy to use”.
In a statement, Doro UK’s managing director, Chris Millinton. says: “This ruling was made & upheld due to the language reference within the ads: ‘Doro mobiles exclusively available at Orange’. For which we apologise if this was misleading to anyone considering purchasing a Doro mobile.”
Complaints against a TV ad for the Tesco Clubcard credit card by shoppers and a press ad for Tesco Finest Beef by rivals Morrisons – both claiming that the ads were misleading and exaggerated benefits – were both not upheld.
This story first appeared on Pitch, Centaur’s subscription-based online interactive marketplace for agencies and clients to share news, opinion and debate.