Israeli tourism print ad banned

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a press ad for the Israeli Government Tourist Office after readers complained it “misleadingly” implied that all of the areas featured were part of the state of Israel.

Israel

It concluded that although the map used in the ad showed border lines for the three regions of West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, they were faintly produced and implied that each was internationally recognised as part of Israel.

The press ad, which promoted a book on Northern Israel and tourism in the region, sparked 350 complaints from members of the public as well as Palestine pressure groups including Friends of Al Aqsa and Jews for Justice for Palestinians after it was published last November.

The tourism board said the ad was not intended as a political map, and believed the Gaza and the West Bank regions were clearly identifiable by a bold, broken, black line.

It expected British tourists planning to visit Northern Israel to be aware of the varying political views surrounding the three regions featured on the map.

A second complaint that the ad wasn’t “sufficiently” presented as “marketing material” was dismissed by the ASA.

The ruling is the latest to involve print adverts from the Israeli Government Tourist Office in recent months. A magazine advert for the tourism board escaped censure last December after the advertising watchdog concluded that it wasn’t offensive to Palestinians.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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