Ryanair told to remove "irresponsible" advert in the UK
"The ads must not be broadcast again."
The UK's advertising watchdog has ordered Ryanair to remove its controversial "jab and go" holiday TV advert, saying the advert encourages people to act irresponsibly when they have received a Covid-19 vaccine.
In the advert, which featured a small bottle labelled “vaccine” and a syringe, consumers are encouraged to book Easter and summer holidays when they've got their vaccine, and the words "jab and go" are used.
Footage in the advert then showed people in their 20s and 30s enjoying a holiday destination.
The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had received 2,370 complaints about the advert - which was shown from December 2020 to January 2021 - which is the third most complaints the agency had ever received for an ad.
The ASA ruled that the ads broke the UK ad rules relating to misleading and irresponsible advertising.
“We considered some viewers were likely to infer that by Easter and summer 2021 it would be possible for anyone to get vaccinated in order to go on a booked holiday, that maximal protection could be achieved immediately through one dose of the vaccine, and that restrictions around social distancing and mask wearing would not be necessary once individuals were vaccinated,” the ASA said.
“We considered this could encourage vaccinated individuals to disregard or lessen their adherence to restrictions, which in the short term could expose them to the risk of serious illness, and in the longer term might result in them spreading the virus. As such, we considered the ads could encourage people to behave irresponsibly once vaccinated. The ads must not be broadcast again.”
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the airline 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."
The most complained about advert in ASA history was a Paddy Power campaign which ran an Oscar Pistorius ad offering “money back if he walks” for punters betting on the outcome of the murder trial.
The ad received 5,525 complaints and was ordered to be pulled from viewing immediately.