Holidays and Travel
As the British summer (and autumn and spring) remains consistently inconsistent, thoughts inevitably turn to getting away and enjoying some sunshine. Holidays are a major expenditure for most consumers and whether you brave the elements and opt for a staycation, or jet off to sunnier climes, chances are you will see an array of ads promoting holiday destinations. Given that responding to a holiday ad involves the outlay of time and often a considerable amount of money, at the end of that process the last thing anyone wants to feel is misled.
In 2011 the ASA received 2,106 complaints about 1,555 ads in this sector. Whether it concerns price claims, charges such as booking fees, limitations on offers or restrictions around availability, ads should provide consumers information in a clear and up-front way.
Our recent adjudication involving Thomson Holidays highlights just how careful advertisers have to be to avoid disappointing consumers. Its claim in its brochure and website for an “adults-only hotel … free from the bustle of families and young people” prompted a complaint it was misleading. Why? Because when the member of public who contacted us stayed at the hotel she found children were booked in. While we accepted that Thomson had taken action to avoid similar situations occurring again, they could not guarantee that children would never be present in the hotel. As such, we found the claim was misleading.
So what are the other common pitfalls that advertisers run into and what rules are in place to ensure members of the public are protected?
Further information can be found here (PDF opens in new window).