Feeds

Ryanair ad banned for slating Lastminute.com

Cartoon robber apprehended

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

An advert for budget airline Ryanair has been banned by the UK's advertising watchdog after it made misleading and unfair comparisons with online travel agent Lastminute.com. The advert broke rules on truthfulness and comparative advertising.

The ad appeared in the national press, headlined "Robbed by Lastminute.com?" It showed a picture of a burglar with "ONLINE AGENT" written on his top. Lastminute.com complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the ad was misleading and, together with the cartoon robber, "denigrated and discredited" its business.

Ryanair denied the claims. It argued that Lastminute.com was not authorised to sell its flights and that, in selling Ryanair flights, Lastminute.com was in clear breach of the conditions for use of Ryanair.com, which restricts use to "private non-commercial purposes". Ryanair also accused Lastminute.com of inflating the prices without consent and without informing passengers.

The ASA said Ryanair failed to provide evidence to show that Lastminute.com overcharged customers and had therefore not substantiated the claim "Robbed by Lastminute.com?"

"We concluded that the claim in conjunction with the image of a robber misleadingly and unfairly discredited Lastminute's business," said the ruling, published today.

The ruling did not address Ryanair's argument that its website conditions forbid non-private, commercial use of the site, perhaps deeming that a matter more suitable for resolution by a court.

Lastminute.com also complained that a statement in the ad that said "They overcharge by 100 per cent or more" was misleading. The ASA ruled in Lastminute.com's favour.

Lastminute.com also said the advert's claim "Don't provide correct terms and conditions" was misleading because Lastminute.com incorporated all their suppliers' terms and conditions into their own terms and conditions, which customers had to agree to before making a purchase.

Lastminute.com's terms and conditions stated:

The contract for the product is between you and the supplier. In most cases this will mean that there are additional terms and conditions governing the contract as each supplier will have terms and conditions relating to that product. Please make sure that you have read these terms and conditions before completing your transaction with us.

The ASA wrote: "We considered that the reference to additional terms and conditions made it clear to customers that they should make further checks with the airline." It concluded that the advert's claim was misleading.

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.