Ryanair ad complaint upheld

25th May 2006

A complaint made against a Ryanair press ad has been upheld by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, breaching a truthfulness code.The national press ad, for Ryanair, stated “3 MILLION £0 TICKETS JUST PAY YOUR TAXES & CHARGES!”; small print at the bottom stated ” ... Excludes travel for major sporting events and holiday periods ...”. The complainant thought the ad was misleading because it did not make clear that passengers could not travel on Fridays or at certain times on other days.

Ryanair argued that the ad was not misleading because they had made clear that the offer excluded major sporting events and holiday periods and that other terms and conditions applied. They said the ad directed people to their website, which made clear all the terms and exclusions to the offer. They asserted that 98% of their bookings were made online.

The ASA noted the ad stated “Excludes travel for major sporting events and holiday periods” in the small print and the website listed all the terms and conditions of the offer. They also noted, however, the offer excluded Fridays and was available on flights only from 12.00 Monday to 12.00 Thursday and Saturday after 12.00. They considered that such a restriction on days and times that a customer could travel was a significant restriction that should be made clear in the ad. They concluded that the ad was misleading and told Ryanair to make clear all significant exclusions to offers in the small print of future advertising.

The ad breached CAP Code clause 7.1 (Truthfulness).


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