A TV advert for Tui holidays has been banned by the advertising watchdog for promoting summer package holiday offers available in October.
Screened in June, the UK’s largest travel group advertised a range of late deals to Turkey with departures available between September and October.
The advert featured a voice-over which said: “It’s not too late to discover Turkey with Tui from £279 per person this summer … Perfect summer holidays that put you in the middle.”
On-screen text stated: “Departures between 01/09/2018 and 31/10/2018 flying from selected airports”.
A complaint received by the Advertising Standards Authority challenged whether the ad was misleading as the departure dates were not during summer holiday period.
Tui UK and the ASA disagreed on the definition of the term “summer holidays” with the operator stating that its summer holiday period ran from April 1 to October 31.
The ASA said consumers would interpret the term “summer holidays” to mean holidays available for travel during the calendar months of June, July and August – all commonly referred to as summer months including the school holiday period.
Tui argued that the ad showed both adult-only groups as well as families, and that the reference to summer holidays in the ad was to convey that the offer was available during the period.
TV advertising pre-approval organisation Clearcast stated that all qualifying information was clearly spelt out in the ad.
It added that the first two weeks of departures were still within summer months, and that it would have been confusing to spell out that the offer covered summer and autumn.
Banning the advert, the ASA ruled: “We told Tui UK to ensure that their future advertising did not mislead by claiming to offer summer holidays if those holidays were outside of the period that consumers were likely to consider as summer.”
Upholding the compliant, the ASA said: “We acknowledged Tui’s comments regarding their own summer holiday period and the use of both adult and family oriented groups within the ad.
“We also acknowledged Clearcast’s comments that the first two weeks of departure were still within the astronomical summer period, which ran into September.
“However, we did not consider that a travel period of September and October only was likely to align with consumers’ understanding of the term in the context of the ad.
“Because the offer was not available for travel during the summer months of June, July and August, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”