The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has today (4 Jan) ruled against two travel ads from Ryanair and Lastminute.com for “misleading advertising” that could not be substantiated.
The ruling against Ryanair is based on the airline’s television ad seen on 5 October, which states “book now from just £19.99. Ryanair. Low fares. Made simple”. The ad then says “Fares one way. Book by 10/11/16. Travel 25/03/17”, before larger text says “Summer 2017 on sale now.”
The complainant said they had understood that the £19.99 offer applied to summer 2017 and that this made the ad misleading to other customers.
Ryanair does not agree with the ruling. The airline says the primary message of the ad was a £19.99 seat promotion for travel until the 25 March 2017 and it believes this was clearly communicated by the disclaimer displayed on the screen throughout the ad.
“Ryanair disagrees with this ASA ruling, but has taken note of it in relation to future ads,” a spokesperson for Ryanair told Marketing Week.
However, the ASA agrees with the complainant and has said the ad must not appear in its current form again.
“We told Ryanair to ensure that their advertising made clear which claims the qualifications applied to in order to avoid giving a misleading impression to consumers,” the ASA confirmed.
Ryanair disagrees with this ASA ruling, but has taken note of it in relation to future ads,
Similarly, Lastminute.com has come under fire for misleading customers with an ad for a hotel and flight package to New York, seen on its website on 15 September 2016.
The ad says the package includes flight and hotel options to New York for £569, though its complainant said they were made to pay an additional £70.77 when they booked the offer.
Lastminute.com said the products it offers are dynamic and their availability is subject to change at any time. It said it always offers customers the option not to proceed with the booking if it is no longer suitable to them.
However, the ASA was not convinced and said the ad must not appear again in the form complained about.
“We told Lastminute.com to ensure that they could demonstrate that holiday packages were available at the prices for which they were advertised at the time they were seen by consumers,” the ASA confirmed.
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Source: Marketing Week
Ryanair and Lastminute.com slammed for ‘misleading’ pricing in ads