A Ryanair advert received more than 2,000 complaints - here's what it said

The airline disagreed with the complaints, but has removed the adverts in question (Photo: Shutterstock)
The airline disagreed with the complaints, but has removed the adverts in question (Photo: Shutterstock)

Recent adverts from budget airline Ryanair have attracted 2,370 complaints - the third highest number ever recorded by the The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The adverts were deemed controversial because of their 'Jab and Go' message, which suggested to customers that they would be able to travel once vaccinated against coronavirus.

The ASA looked into three potential issues with the airline's series of adverts after receiving complaints in late December 2020 and early January 2021.

What were the complaints made?

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    The first entailed complaints that the ads were misleading, encouraging the population to believe that they would all be vaccinated by spring or summer and thus able to travel abroad - a situation few experts or ministers have indicated will be a reality this year.

    The ASA upheld the accusation of the adverts being misleading, saying that, given the quickly changing situation, it is "important that advertisers were cautious when linking developments in the UK's response to the pandemic to specific timeframes around which life might return to some level of normality, particularly when linking it to how confident consumers could be when making purchasing decisions".

    The second issue raised - that the ads were irresponsible - was upheld, but the third (accusing the ads of trivialising the pandemic) was not.

    The ASA conceded that while "many viewers had found the tone of the ads distasteful we considered they were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence".

    They said the ads had "over-claimed on this occasion", saying: "The ads misleadingly provided consumers with a reassurance that being vaccinated against Covid-19 was likely to allow them to go on holiday without restrictions."

    As a result of the ASA's ruling, Ryanair has removed the adverts, but disagreed with the accusations levelled at it.

    An airline spokesperson said: "The ASA's ruling flies in the face of the UK's successful vaccine rollout, however even though this ruling is baseless, Ryanair will comply with it and the Jab & Go adverts will not run again."