ASA bans Israeli tourism advert

14th Apr 2010
ASA bans Israeli tourism advert

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert from the Israel Ministry of Tourism, following complaints from the public.

A press advertisement for holidays in the country – under the headline Imagine what you can experience in 4 days… - presented a number of pictures of Israel, outlining a potential itinerary for travel there.

However, complainants argued the photograph featured in the advertisement for Jerusalem was of East Jerusalem, and therefore misleadingly implied East Jerusalem was part of the state of Israel.

Ministry of Tourism

In defence of the advertisement the State of Israel Ministry of Tourism stated the ad provided basic, accurate information to a prospective UK traveller who wanted to know what to expect in Israel.

The body maintained it was entirely accurate to assert a visitor to Israel could visit Jerusalem as part of a short visit.

Furthermore, the ministry believed that, had the ad omitted a reference to a visit to the city of Jerusalem, it would have been incorrect and potentially misleading.


While taking these concerns onboard, the ASA subsequently upheld the complaint, stating the ad must not appear again in its current form.

The ASA noted the itinerary image of Jerusalem used in the ad featured the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, which were both in East Jerusalem, a part of the occupied territories of the West Bank.

Furthermore, the ASA argued the status of the occupied territory of the West Bank was the subject of much international dispute, and because the government body considered the ad implied that the part of East Jerusalem featured in the image was part of the state of Israel, the ASA concluded the ad was likely to mislead.


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