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Ryanair adverts telling people to book holidays now because of the vaccines have been banned after an advertising watchdog deemed them “irresponsible”.
The two ads were shared over Christmas and watchdogs received a staggering 2,370 complaints – the third highest ever for an ad.
In the ad seen above, the words “vaccines are coming” flash across the screen before the voiceover says: “So book your Easter and summer holidays today with Ryanair.”
It goes on to say there are “1 million seats from £19.99” to popular holiday destinations in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece.
“So you can jab and go,” the narrator continues.
The Advertising Standards Authority made the decision to ban the ads as they implied most people would be vaccinated by the summer, which they said was “misleading”.
An ASA spokesman said: “We considered that consumers could easily be confused or uncertain about the situation at any given time and how it might develop throughout 2021.
“It was therefore important that advertisers were cautious when linking developments in the UK's response to the pandemic to specific timeframes around which life might return to some level of normality, particularly when linking it to how confident consumers could be when making purchasing decisions.
“The specific references to Easter and summer holidays directly linked the rollout of the vaccine to the implication that many people who wished to go on holiday during those periods would be able to do so as a direct result of being vaccinated.”
They added that the “clear link” between the vaccine rollout and being able to book holidays at Easter or summer 2021 was “misleading”.
“We considered that based on the information available at the time it was clear that it was highly unlikely that societal groups outside of phase one of the rollout would be maximally protected in time to holiday in either summer or Easter 2021.
“We therefore concluded that the implication in the ads 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.”
Complaints also centered around the “Jab and go” slogan, which the ASA said implied individuals would be able to obtain a vaccine “on demand”.
“We considered the ads could encourage people to behave irresponsibly once vaccinated,” the spokesperson added.
“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.
“For those reasons, we concluded the ad was irresponsible.”
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