Ryanair complaint over easyJet advert upheld

Ryanair has come out top in its latest spat with easyJet after an advert ended up in front of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The easyJet ad appeared on the London Underground with the headline ‘Who loves flying you to the place you actually booked?’. Under the Ryanair headline was a list of destinations the airline flies to and the airports it uses. Barcelona was next to Girona airport, Paris next to Beauvais airport, Milan next to Bergamo airport and Venice next to Treviso airport.

In contrast, under the easyJet headline it wrote that its own aircraft going to Barcelona land in Barcelona, Paris in Paris, Milan in Milan and Venice in Venice. The small print listed the airports the airline uses.

Ryanair had complained to the ASA, claiming the advert was misleading as both their adverts and website made it clear exactly which airport the consumer flies to, while Beauvais, Bergamo and Treviso airports have all been designated as official airports for their corresponding cities by Iata.

Ryaniar also claimed the advert was denigratory as it suggested the airline flew passengers to destinations other than the ones they booked.

EasyJet defended the ads saying consumers were more interested in an airport’s proximity to their destination cities as opposed to Iata designations. It added it was making the point that it flies to primary airports, whereas Ryanair flies to secondary airports.

Both complaints were upheld by the ASA. The authority was concerned that consumers might become worried that Ryanair flies them to remote airports, or even different destinations, when its own advertising makes it clear this is not the case.

The authority added that the challenging tone of the advert’s headline, combined with the insinuation that Ryanair flies customers to airports different to the ones they booked, was denigratory.

EasyJet was ordered not to repeat the advert in its current form.

Paul Simmons, easyJet’s UK general manager, said: “It is a well-known fact that easyJet flies to major airports, whereas Ryanair serves out-of-town airfields that can be a two-hour bus ride away from your destination.

“While we are disappointed by the ruling, which is based on a technicality, we respect the ASA’s decision and will not repeat the advert in the same form.”

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