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03rd Feb 2021

Ryanair ad banned in the UK for encouraging people to book holidays

Ryanair is in hot water over their “Jab and Go” advert that was released at the end of last year.

The ad pretty much encourages people to start booking flights for holidays because the vaccine is here. The commercial has now been banned in the UK after receiving a huge amount of complaints saying it was “irresponsible” advertising.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received 2,370 complaints about the advert. This makes it the third most complained about ad of all time.

The message in the video encourages people in the UK and Ireland to book Easter and summer holidays after getting the vaccine with the slogan “jab and go”. Footage in the ad shows people in their 20s and 30s having fun enjoying their holidays.

Many of the complaints made were by people who felt that the ad was careless and implied that most of the UK population would be able to travel without being affected by the virus this summer.

Ryanair said “important contextual factors” needed to be taken into account when looking at the advert, “including the general awareness of the public around the national vaccination programme and the constantly changing restrictions on international travel.”

They added that the advert was meant to be “uplifting” and did not consider the content was insensitive to people who had Covid or lost someone to Covid this year, and was only based on the government’s optimistic briefings.

The ASA ruling said: “We told Ryanair DAC to ensure their ads did not mislead viewers about the impact that COVID-19 vaccines would have on their ability to travel abroad during Easter and summer 2021, and to ensure their ads did not encourage irresponsible behaviour.”

Earlier in the week Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary defended the airline’s ‘Jab and Go’ ad, claiming that there is nothing insensitive or wrong about it.

He said that the tone of the ad is “completely fine”, and that it acts as “the perfect antidote” to RTÉ and NPHET’s “daily doses of pessimism”.

The ad has not been banned here in Ireland… yet.