Micheal O’Leary says sorry to Sir Stelios for ‘Pinocchio’ ads

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has apologised “unreservedly” to Easyjet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou over ads that Ryanair ran featuring Stelios as Pinocchio and suggesting he was lying about Easyjet’s punctuality.

The ’Pinocchio’ press campaign over which Stelios was taking legal action was rolled out earlier this year, referring to Stelios as “Easyjet’s – Mr Late Again” and called on him to “stop hiding the truth” about Easyjet’s on-time performance.

But Mr O’Leary has now apologised, saying that Stelios was not personally responsible for Easyjet not publishing weekly details of their on-time performance.

The libel suit was settled out of court, with Stelios accepting £50,100 in damage. Stelios dedicated the victory to all those “who have suffered verbal abuse at the hands of O’Leary”.

The rivalry between the two low-cost carriers has often centred on advertising, with each arline complaining against the other to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over various campaigns.

This story first appeared on pitch

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