Budget airline ad war continues, easyJet sticks it to Ryanair
Advertising is a tricky business, more so when you mislead customers. It's not the first time the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints about Ryanair, and no doubt it won't be the last - largely because the ASA is a toothless regulator that's entirely helpless to prevent companies taking the royal piss out of them.
So what is it this time? Budget airline rivals easyJet complained about Ryanair's adverts for £10 one-way fares to Gothenburg and Dusseldorf, with small print stating the offer was subject to availability and excluded fees and charges. EasyJet challenged the credibility of the adverts - in particular the availability of the fares, and the inclusion of additional taxes and fees, and the fact Ryanair didn't state relevant travel dates.
Ryanair fired back that there was no legal requirement for their ads to include travel dates, but the ASA felt consumers would think the £10 deal was a fixed price for all seats on both routes - rather than for specific dates on specific flights - there was therefore likely to mislead. In fact, the ads breached a whole load of advertising codes according to the ASA, including clauses for substantiation, truthfulness, availability, sales promotions and a couple concerning prices.
Ryanair commented in a statement: "It's funny that Easyjet are such sticklers for detail when they refuse to publish their punctuality statistics."
easyJet spokesman Andrew McConnell retaliated by telling Bitterwallet: “We would like to correct Ryanair’s false accusation that we do not disclose our on time performance. This information can be easily found on page 7 of our annual report (accessible via easyJet.com).”