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Ryanair rapped for misleading New Year claims

Rival's complaint upheld by ASA

RyanAir plane

Ryanair has been told to ensure its small print does not contradict the overall impression of its adverts after the advertising watchdog ruled a New Year’s promotion was misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint made by rival airline Easyjet about the Ryanair advert, which suggested customers could travel to Dublin to celebrate New Year’s Eve from £7.

The advert, which was produced in co-operation with Tourism Ireland in December last year, was headlined Fly Ryanair one way from £7, and included the phrase ‘come celebrate with us as we look forward to a new year with new beginnings’. The small print said the offer was available for travel from January to March.

£7 claim was misleading

Easyjet complained that the ad misleadingly implied it was possible to travel to Dublin from Gatwick and Stansted for New Year’s Eve on £7.

The ASA agreed and has told Ryanair not to repeat the advert in its present form, as well as telling the airline to ensure its qualifying text does not contradict the overall impression of future ads.

It is the second time the ASA has been brought into disputes between Easyjet and Ryanair.

Earlier this year the ASA upheld a complaint made by Ryanair against Easyjet, in which Easyjet claimed it was offering the ‘new shape of business travel’ and said ‘we charge you less’.

Airline claims should be honest

Ryanair complained the ad was misleading because its fares were cheaper than Easyjet’s on some routes. The ASA backed the complaint and found it was misleading because consumers were likely to believe all airlines had been included in the price comparison.

Which? Travel’s Chris Gray said: ‘Airlines should be honest with consumers about the claims made in their adverts.

‘We’d prefer Easyjet and Ryanair to spend time on ensuring their adverts are accurate rather than referring each other to the advertising authorities.’


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