Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Thomas Cook currency ad ban

Travel agent's currency boast 'unsubstantiated'

Holiday money

With a weaker dollar, an iPod nano is cheaper in the US

Thomas Cook has been forced to withdraw an advert claiming that the travel agent offered better exchange rates on foreign currency than the Post Office.  

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint made that Thomas Cook was wrong to maintain that it ‘beat the Post Office exchange rates’.  

Thomas Cook stated that it had compared the Post Office’s ‘national’ exchange rates for euros and US dollars for amounts under £500. The travel agent did not consider the rates offered by individual Post Office branches, as their understanding was the Post Office only introduced branch-specific rates after the campaign was launched. Thomas Cook told the ASA that it had instructed individual stores to beat the rates offered at their local Post Office branch after discovering that rates differed between branches. 

Unsubstantiated and misleading

The ASA rejected this argument after it discovered that the exchange rates offered at 301 Post Office branches were better on the day the ad campaign was launched. It ruled that the claims were ‘unsubstantiated and misleading.’ 

The offending advert featured a child on a beach holding a large 20 euro note while buying a balloon, along with the slogan.

A range of options

Which? travel money expert Dan Moore said: ‘Currency rates fluctuate all the time. This makes finding the best deal very difficult, and advertising campaigns such as this one only make it even harder for consumers to know where to secure the best rate on the day.’

For more on where to get a good exchange rate on foreign currency, and for advice on what to look out for when buying travel money, visit www.which.co.uk/travelmoney

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what’s going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.

Back to top