“Denigratory” Ryanair advert banned
A Ryanair advert which falsely implied that its rival Thomas Cook was likely to go into administration by Christmas has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Headlined “Bye Bye Thomas Cook” the November newspaper campaign asserted that the travel operator was in “dire straits” having accumulated debts approaching £1bn.
Contrasting these negative headlines with positive ones of its own Ryanair that only it was “guaranteed to keep flying this Christmas" as it has access to £33bn in cash reserves.
Insisting that these statements were not intended to mock their competitor Ryanair claimed that the ad was merely reflecting “public commentary”.
In their adjudication the ASA said: "We considered that the header Bye Bye Thomas Cook pictured alongside the newspaper headlines would lead consumers to believe that Thomas Cook was likely to go into administration and that it was risky to book with them."
"As a result we concluded that the ads were misleading and denigratory."