The Advertising Standards Authority has moved to ban a British Airways Holidays TV ad for holidays to Barbados following viewer complaints that no holidays at the advertised price were available on the BA website.
The wholly owned subsidiary of the national carrier depicted a surf boarder at the holiday destination the commercial featured a narrator who intoned: “Lesson 24, how to ride a wave. Book now at BA.com forward slash Barbados. Seven night holidays including flights from £549 per person with British Airways.”
This was further backed up by on screen text 7 night holidays, including flights and accommodation, were available to purchase from £549 for two adults sharing. One disgruntled customer complained however, pointing out that they had been unable to find the specified holiday at the stated price – despite repeated trawls of the BA website.
In response BAH claimed that they had checked availability prior to broadcast and that there had been sufficient availability of holidays when the advert was placed.
Dismissing this defence however the ASA noted that BAH had exaggerated availability of the advertised price and failed to give any information on the travel period for such deals.
In their ruling the ASA said: “The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told BAH to ensure that, when advertising holidays at prices that might be limited or unavailable while the ad was still in use, to make clear that such offers were extremely limited. We also told BAH to make clear to which travel periods promotional offers applied.”