Azara Blog: Advertising Standards Authority gives Ryanair lots of free publicity

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Date published: 2008/01/30

The BBC says:

Budget airline Ryanair has been told to withdraw an advert featuring a model in schoolgirl-style clothes and a headline "hottest back to school fares".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the "irresponsible" image appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour.

The advert shows the model with a bare midriff in a short skirt, tie, shirt and knee-high socks in a classroom.
The advert, which was printed in three newspapers reaching 3.5 million readers - the Herald, Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Mail - prompted 13 complaints to the ASA from readers who found it offensive.

After an investigation, the watchdog ruled the advert breached the advertising code's rules on social responsibility and decency.
However, the airline said the model's clothing reflected what was currently fashionable among young women and that the number of complaints was insignificant compared to the three newspapers' combined readership.

Ryanair also said its advert was considerably less suggestive than some others appearing in the media.

"It is remarkable that a picture of a fully-clothed model is now claimed to cause 'serious or widespread offence', when many of the UK's leading daily newspapers regularly run pictures of topless or partially-dressed females without causing any serious or widespread offence," said Peter Sherrard, head of communications for the airline.

"This isn't advertising regulation, it is simply censorship. This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising."

Ryanair 1, Fossils at the ASA 0. Unbelievably pathetic, the ASA. But they certainly gave Ryanair lots of free publicity. (Do the members of the ASA own shares in Ryanair? The way they behave you would think they must.)

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