Ryanair agrees to OFT call for more transparency in ads

Budget airline will improve clarity of its ad campaigns and website.

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Ryanair has reached agreement with the Office of Fair Trading to increase the clarity and transparency of its website and advertising.

Ryanair has now voluntarily agreed to provide clear information about Ryanair’s Price Guarantee “and qualify as necessary any statements that Ryanair is guaranteed to offer the lowest prices”.

The airline will also give “further prominence” to links on its website and in email promotions that contain information about optional services and charges.

It will also highlight website links and email promotions that contain terms and conditions pertinent to special offers.

The agreement reached between Ryanair and the OFT concludes the OFT’s consideration of the Advertising Standards Authority referral.

The ASA referred the low-cost airline to the OFT following numerous complaints about Ryanair’s advertising. The ASA made seven rulings against Ryanair in 2007/8 including the “greedy Gordon Brown” ad, where the ASA ruled that the UN and Stern Report’s CO2 emissions figures were factually inaccurate; and Ryanair’s “Back to School” ad depicting a model with a bared midriff, which the ASA ruled as offensive.

Ryanair hit back claiming the ASA had demonstrated a “repeated lack of independence, impartiality of fairness” regarding the airline and submitted a formal complaint to the OFT regarding the ASA’s “unfair procedures, bias and factually untrue rulings” over the past two years.

A Ryanair spokesman says: “We were happy to make the minor adjustments recommended by the OFT to improve our website and advertising.

“Ryanair is pleased with the OFT’s conclusion, which confirms Ryanair’s belief that there was no substance to the ASA’s original referral. And we welcome the fact the OFT has dismissed the ASA’s request to consider taking action against us.”

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