The British Advertising Standards Authority has banned the Ryanair ad below for…lying.
Arguing that the "sunny" destinations wouldn’t get much warmer than 6-9ºC (42-48ºF), the government body has banned Ryanair from publishing similar "misleading" ads in the future.
"We considered that the average consumer would infer from the claim ‘Book to the sun now’ and the image of the woman sunbathing, in a bikini, with a cocktail, that the promotion included fares to destinations warm enough to sunbathe in swimwear during the promotional period," the ASA said. "Because we understood this was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading."
Look, I support moves like the U.S. Department of Transportation made last week to make pricing more transparent and insure consumers are not forced into contracts of adhesion with the airlines, but this story is just plain stupid.
The Ryanair ad is a bit misleading, but can you point to an ad campaign that does not exaggerate? And who in their right mind would book a trip to Barcelona or Oslo in March and expect to go sunbathing on the beach? I think the ASA would be well-served going after Ryanair’s hidden fees rather than nitpicking about the graphics used in the airline’s ad campaigns.