The advertising watchdog today upheld complaints against four travel and transport companies.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled against adverts produced by lastminute.com, Condor Ferries, Purple Travel and Top Rent A Car.
All cases involved misleading price claims made in various online formats.
The ASA was particularly scathing about a Purple Travel advert on price comparison firm Icelolly’s Facebook page last November which claimed 47% off a five-star holiday in Agadir in Morocco to give a price of £239 per person over Christmas and new year when this was found not to be the case.
As Purple Travel did not respond to the ASA, the company was referred to the compliance team of the Code of Advertising Practice.
The ASA said it was “concerned by Purple Travel’s lack of response and apparent disregard of the code”. The company was reminded of its responsibility to respond promptly to ASA enquiries.
Upholding a complaint that the promotion was misleading, the ASA said: “We noted that the ad stated “from £239pp”, which indicated some prices might be higher.
“Nevertheless, we considered that consumers were likely to understand from the references to Christmas and new year that some holidays would be available for that price during that period.
“However, we understood that was not the case, and that the promotional price in fact related to selected dates in January.
“Other dates were being advertised at higher prices, up to £669pp for new year dates. That would only become clear to consumers once they made the decision to enquire further by clicking through to the website.”