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Closing the hangar door after the plane has flown?

15 October 2010

The ASA has upheld yet another complaint against Ryanair’s pricing claims. Easyjet complained that Ryanair could not substantiate the claim ‘Cheapest way to the Sun‘, and did not make the basis of the implied comparison clear. The ad encouraged consumers to ‘Book now for Summer 2010′.

The ASA upheld both complaints. Ryanair’s evidence showed they sometimes offered cheaper flights than their nearest competitor, but did not show that they were cheaper for the whole of Summer 2010. Ryanair have been told not to repeat the ad in its current form.

On the one hand, this is an example of why certain advertisers feel able to ignore the threat of an adverse ASA ruling – because by the time this adjudication was made, ‘Summer 2010′ was long gone. On the other hand, will the reporting of rulings such as this, combined with protests such as ‘ihateryanair.org,’ undermine the credibility of Ryanair’s low-cost business model for Summer 2011?

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