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ASA orders Israeli Government Tourist Office and Premier Inn to withdraw adverts

The Israeli Government Tourist Office (IGTO) and Premier Inn Hotels have both been ordered to withdraw adverts by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

A total of 444 complaints were made against an Israel tourism advert, which featured the headline ‘Experience Israel’ above a picture of a boy snorkelling with dolphins.

The advert also featured a map of Israel which included the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, leading to complaints from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice for Palestine and 442 members of the public that the poster misleadingly implied the areas were internationally recognised as part of Israel.

In defence of the IGTO, the State of Israel Ministry of Tourism claimed the map was not a political map, but a general tourist map giving visitors to the country an idea of areas they could explore.

However, the ASA ruled that, while the map did show borderlines of the territories, they were not clear enough to show the territories were separate. It ruled the advert must not appear again in its current form.

The ASA also ordered Premier Inn Hotels to withdraw an advert headlined ‘Everything you’d expect at a four-star hotel. At a budget price’. The poster then listed a number of features from all-you-can-eat breakfasts to wi-fi access.

However, seven people complained that the table of features is misleading, as the features are not included in the basic advertised room price, and one complained that Premier Inn Hotels could not be considered a four-star hotel.

Premier staff defended the advert, claiming the small print clarified what was included in the cost, while adding their hotels had many of the features expected in a four-star hotel.

However, both complaints were upheld by the ASA, which ordered the advert not to be run again in its current state.

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