The weather sponsorship sting featuring a male voiceover referred to the following:
“RTE Radio One Weather with Aer Lingus. Beach all day and party all night in magical Miami our newest direct route. Smart loves new experiences, smart flies Aer Lingus.”
The complainant said that he heard the advertisement in April and was unable to source a direct flight to Miami with Aer Lingus. He queried the availability of the direct flights to Miami as advertised.
The advertisers said that the purpose of the radio sting was to raise awareness of their new direct route to Miami which would commence service on 1st September 2017. These flights were currently on sale. As this was a sponsorship property with the broadcaster, a ‘call to action’ was not allowed. They pointed out that they had not asked consumers to book or to go their website. The sting had purely been to drive awareness. Prior to the 1st September, multiple indirect options would be available each day with their partner airlines.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee considered that advertising direct flights to Miami in April for a service that would not commence until September, without qualification, had the potential to mislead consumers and to be in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, and 4.10 of the Code.
The Committee advised the advertisers that when advertising new routes, which are not currently available for travel, to specify the timeframe involved.