Ryanair ads upset the readers, pull in the punters, but costs chip at margins - so they have pushed up fees / charges
The Advertsing Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints from 13 outraged readers about Press ads in the Herald, Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Mail this summer - the ad featured a skimpily clad girl in a classroom , wearing a comic and abbreviated version of a tartan school uniform. Body copy stated one way fares to Derry, Belfast, Budapest, Grenoble and Stockholm were £10- under the Headline "HOTTEST BACK TO SCHOOL FARES."
The ASA have today Upheld the complaints explaining the ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.2 (Social responsibility) and 5.1 (Decency) and said the schoolrom setting appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour - it was "irresponsible and likely to cause serious or widespread offence."
The newspapers which originally ran the ad have agreed not to carry it again. The agency has no enforcement powers, but it can refer advertisers to Britain's Office of Fair Trading for legal action.
Having milked the rage over the image, Ryanairs head of communications, Peter Sherrard, provoked more dismay amongst their critics : “The ASA becomes more Monty Pythonesque by the day."
“ .... a fully clothed model is now claimed to cause ’serious or widespread offence’, when many of the UK’s leading daily newspaper regularly run pictures of topless or partially dressed females without causing any serious or widespread offence.”
An outraged Sherrard added: “This isn’t advertising regulation, it is simply censorship.”
Ryanair have caused complaints elsewhere in Europe - An attorney for tiny French President Nicolas Sarkozy on filed two lawsuits on his 53rd birthday on Monday over a Ryanair ad that uses a photograph of him and his girlfriend, singer Carla Bruni. They claim infringement on the rights of his image without consent and for the purpose of advertising, Sarkozy has demanded one euro (1.47 dollars) in damages and interest and an injunction against the commercialization of his image. Bruni is asking for a payment of 500,000 euros against eventual future damages based on her work as a model The offending ad shows the smiling couple with a comic book speech bubble coming from Bruni's head saying: "With Ryanair, all my family can come to my wedding."
The airline last year reportedly settled out of court a lawsuit brought by Sweden's ex-prime minister Goran Persson after it used his picture without his consent.
Last month, Ryanair upset Spain's government-run Women's Institute, who complained about Ryanair's 2008 calendar (now Sold out) and called it sexist. The calendar (whose proceeds go to charity) featured bikini-clad flight attendants blowing suggestively into a lifejacket and washing a plane.
God knows what the Spanish ladies would make of this airline.
Ryanair announced a jump in charges for passengers on Friday 26th Jan - the cost of checking in a bag at the airport has risen 20% from £10 to £12 (as has the the online fee , up from £5 to £6), and the charge for passengers to check in at the airport, rather than online, has gone up 50% from £2 to £3.
Ryanair said 3.95 million people flew with them in December compared with 3.36 million last yer a year earlier, the load factor for all flights , or proportion of seats filled, fell 2 percentage points to 79 % and was at 82 % for the full year.
Ryanair's shares have fallen over 20 % the past 12 months as record and rising oil prices slowed global economic growth and raised the airline's costs. The Dublin based company's earnings will be hit as Sterling continues to slide against the Euro. More than a third of Ryanair's revenue is in sterling. See also ;
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