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Published on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ryanair rebuked for 'irresponsible' Jab and Go adverts

The advertising watchdog has banned Ryanair's 'jab-and-go' TV ads after ruling they wrongly suggested travel during Easter and summer would be possible with a vaccination.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded the ads were 'misleading' and encouraged people to act irresponsibly.

The ads drew 2,370 complaints, making it the third most complained about campaigns of all-time.

But viewer complaints that the ads also trivialised Covid and the impact it was having on society were rejected.

The ads, which ran between Boxing Day and 3 January, flagged cut price deals and featured a small bottle labelled 'vaccine', a syringe and the wording 'jab and go'.

In its ruling, the ASA said: "At a time when consumers were nervous about booking holidays, we considered that the clear link made in the ads between the vaccine rollout and being able to holiday at Easter or summer 2021 provided reassurance to viewers that they could feel confident about booking flights, because they would be vaccinated by the time of their holiday."

It added the implication that most people who wished to go on holiday at Easter or summer 2021 would be vaccinated in time to do so - and that being vaccinated against Covid-19 would allow people to go on holiday without restrictions during those periods - was misleading.

The watchdog also found the ad inferred it would be possible for anyone to get vaccinated in order to go on holiday, that maximal protection could be achieved immediately through one dose of the vaccine, and that restrictions around social distancing and mask wearing would not be necessary once individuals were vaccinated.

"We considered this could encourage vaccinated individuals to disregard or lessen their adherence to restrictions, which in the short term could expose them to the risk of serious illness, and in the longer term might result in them spreading the virus," the ASA said. "As such we considered the ads could encourage people to behave irresponsibly once vaccinated.

"We further considered the ads encouraged people to behave irresponsibly by prompting those who were not yet eligible to be vaccinated to contact GPs or other NHS services in an attempt to arrange vaccination, at a time when health services were under particular strain."

Ryanair defended the campaign, arguing the Government had outlined that the vaccine would potentially mean that relaxed travel restrictions would be in place for all by spring or summer 2021.

It added that it believed the ads were 'uplifting and encouraged viewers to consider a brighter future when restrictions were lifted and people could go on holiday with friends and family again'.

The airline also said the ads did not trivialise the need to prioritise the rollout of the vaccine to vulnerable individuals, or encourage individuals to try to 'jump the queue'.

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  • how useless is the ASA ?

    the ASA must be the most useless British public service dept. They should be wound up. UK can't afford all it's public servants now anyway.

    By Michael Jones, Thursday, February 4, 2021

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