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”.


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