Ryanair is under investigation over a “jab and go” advert urging customers to book Easter flights, with Britain’s advertising watchdog probing whether the ad breached its rules.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received around 1,600 complaints about the ad so far.
Complainants said the ad “misleadingly suggests that the vaccine will have been successfully rolled out across the population by spring/summer and that travel restrictions won’t apply by then,” according to the ASA.
They also claim the ad “is offensive and irresponsible as, in their view, it trivialises the effect of the pandemic on individuals and society,” the watchdog said. The body said it will publish its findings “in due course.”
We have received complaints about a Ryanair ad which encourages people to book holidays abroad now that vaccines are being administered. We have launched an investigation into whether the ad has broken our rules and will publish our findings in due course.
— ASA (@ASA_UK) January 5, 2021
The ad was televised and also appeared on the airline’s website. According to the Times, the advert voiceover said: “Vaccines are coming, so book your Easter and summer holidays today with Ryanair. One million seats on sale for €19.99 to sunshine destinations in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and many more — so you can jab and go.”
Ryanair has previously confirmed that it will not ask passengers for proof of vaccinations when travelling on its service.
It is not the first time Ryanair has faced a tide of complaints and reprimands from the ASA. In 2018, it created an ad campaign featuring a man asleep on a beach next to an empty bottle of alcohol. The tagline ran: “Book on Ryanair.com in between ‘studying’ tonight. This could be you.”
Ryanair did not immediately respond to a Yahoo Finance UK request for comment.
The investigation comes amid further turmoil for the airlines industry. Numerous holiday operators and airlines confirmed they would cancel flights and review schedules in light of the UK’s new national lockdown measures.
UK caseloads of the virus have ballooned in recent weeks, and the discovery of a new strain saw other countries to close their borders to outgoing flights from the UK.
England, Scotland and Northern Ireland were placed back in lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. Wales is already under nationwide stay-at-home restrictions.
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