Ryanair ads banned
22 August 2007, LONDON (AFP) - Britain's advertising watchdog on Wednesday banned Ryanair from claiming that the Irish no-frills airline was cheaper, faster and more punctual than high-speed Eurostar trains to Brussels.
22 August 2007
LONDON (AFP) - Britain's advertising watchdog on Wednesday banned Ryanair from claiming that the Irish no-frills airline was cheaper, faster and more punctual than high-speed Eurostar trains to Brussels.
Ryanair had claimed in a press advert that its 70-minute flight between London's Stansted airport and Charleroi, southern Belgium, was a faster journey than a 131-minute Eurostar rail link between Waterloo train station and Brussels.
The advert, which was headlined "Brussels faster and cheaper," claimed Ryanair's flight cost GBP 15 (22 euros), compared with GBP 27 on the Eurostar train. It also claimed that 89 percent of Ryanair flights were on time, against 83 percent of Eurostar trains.
But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that Ryanair's claims were "misleading" because they ignored the time and cost of travelling to and from airports and the longer check-in times for flights.
The watchdog also said the punctuality claim was based on a two-year-old report on the BBC news website, when more Eurostar had failed to run on time due to bad weather.
The ASA, which responded to complaints from Eurostar and members of the public, said it has now asked the Dublin-based carrier to remove the claims from similar advertisements.
The ASA said Stansted and Charleroi airports were about 40 kilometres and 46 kilometres from the centres of London and Brussels respectively and that readers of the adverts would not necessarily know this.
"We considered that people would see the headline 'Brussels faster' as referring to the overall journey time from London to the centre of Brussels," the ASA said in its ruling.
"We concluded that the claim was likely to mislead."
For its part, Ryanair told the ASA that the time and costs of getting to and from airports and railway stations were "irrelevant" as they applied to both modes of transport.
[Copyright AFP 2007]
Subject: Belgian news