Easyjet ad banned for being defamatory

Ryanair has won its latest spat with rival easyJet after the advertising watchdog banned a poster campaign for being defamatory.

The Irish carrier complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the easyJet ad, which questioned its ability to fly people to their required destinations, was misleading as well as “denigratory”.

The poster had the headline “Who loves flying you to the place you actually booked?” Text headed Ryanair listed a number of destinations including “Barcelona”= Girona.

Further text listed the cities and airports easyJet flew to including Barcelona El Prat Airport. 

Ryanair claimed the ad misled because it implied it would not fly you to the city you booked but its marketing and website made it clear where it flew to. It adds the poster was defamatory because it also suggested it flew passengers to destinations other than the ones they had booked.

EasyJet says it was trying to make the point that it flies to primary airports while Ryanair flew to secondary airports in many cases.

The ASA upheld all complaints and said the ad must not appear in its current form.  

Last month, easyJet was said to have threatened legal action against Ryanair over an advertisement that likened easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou to Pinocchio.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary claimed that he had received a letter from easyJet’s solicitors demanding an apology and damages because the ad “caused ongoing and escalating damage to our client’s reputation”.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here