The advertising for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land referred to the following:
Holy Land Pilgrimage
Led by Fr. Brendan McConvery CSsR
Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Cana, Tiberias, Dead Sea
12-21 March 2015 (10 days)
€1,149.00 + taxes
Full Programme, Spiritual Director Guide, entrances included
Detailed itinerary included on
www.maptravel.ie or call (01)878… “
The complainant said that the price advertised for the trip was misleading, as she was informed that taxes would cost her an extra €260. She was also informed that tips were not included in the price advertised.
The advertisers said that they were not aware that it was a requirement to include the cost of taxes in their advertising. Their reason for not including them, they said, was because they were linked to the dollar exchange rate and the price of fuel, and as these were variable amounts they could change.
The advertisers also said that while on certain tours, tips were very much expected, they were optional and discretionary.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee pointed out that in keeping with the requirement of the Code, taxes, being an inescapable cost to consumers, should be included in the price quoted in marketing communications. They considered that gratuities were generally optional and advertisers were not required to include them in the price quoted. They upheld the complaint under Sections 2.22, 2.24 and 2.42 of the Code.
The advertisement should not run in its current form again and all future marketing communications should be in keeping with Section 2.42 of the Code.