The ASA has partially upheld complaints by two travel agents against travelsupermarket.com over a TV ad featuring pop duo Jeward and comedian Omid Djalili comparing the cost of holidays.


Pole Travel and PR World Travel complained that the ad exaggerated the typical amount consumers might save by booking through the price comparison website compared to direct with an agent.


It was argued the ad misleadingly implied that the site would always be able to find cheaper deals than booking direct with a travel retailer or operator. The advert depicted Jedward sitting on sun loungers by a swimming pool with Djalili quzzing them over the cost of their holiday, with one twin claiming to have found his holiday £200 cheaper.


The ASA ruled that, because the ad implied that consumers could typically save £200 by booking through travelsupermarket.com, “and we had not seen robust evidence to substantiate that claim,” it was misleading. Travelsupermarket was found to have compared brochure prices with the prices featured on its site to come up with the claim.


But the authority rejected the second compliant, saying that it did not consider that the ad suggested either directly, or by implication, that travelsupermarket.com would always be cheaper than booking directly with a travel agent. “We therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading on this point,” the ASA said.


Reports had suggested the advert unfairly prortayed traditional travel agents as more expensive than online equivalents, although Travelsupermarket is just a price comparision site and features holidays from a range of trade partners including leading travel agents like Thomson and Thomas Cook and online agents Cruise118 and On The Beach.