Ryanair forced to pull controversial ‘jab and go’ ad campaign

Helen Coffey
·2-min read
<p>Ryanair says it ‘respectfully disagrees’ with ruling</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Ryanair says it ‘respectfully disagrees’ with ruling

(AFP via Getty Images)

Ryanair has been forced to pull its controversial “jab and go” advertising campaign after a ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The airline called the ruling “baseless” and said it “disagrees” with the ASA’s decision, although it will comply and retract the ads.

The campaign was launched by Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier over the Christmas period, with a TV advert first airing on Boxing Day.

Featuring a small bottle labelled “vaccine” and a syringe, the advert told the public: “Covid vaccines are coming so book your Easter and summer holidays today with Ryanair.

“One million seats on sale from £19.99 to sunshine destinations in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and many more so you could jab and go.”

The ASA said it received more than 1,600 complaints about the advert, including that it was misleading to suggest the vaccine would be rolled out by the spring and that travel restrictions would be over.

Consumers also complained that the advert trivialised the pandemic’s impact on society.

The watchdog upheld the complaints, saying it was “likely that consumers would interpret the phrase ‘vax and go’/‘jab and go’ as an unequivocal endorsement of vaccinating and travelling unconditionally.”

Ryanair has been told the campaign therefore cannot run in its current form.

Ryanair advert urged people to ‘jab and go’Ryanair
Ryanair advert urged people to ‘jab and go’Ryanair

The airline “respectfully disagrees” with the decision, claiming the advert is factual and accurate, and says the ruling means all advertising by airlines, tour operators and travel agents for Easter or summer holidays should also be banned.

A Ryanair spokesperson 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 and Go adverts will not run again.”

Ryanair’s new advert in response to the new coronavirus vaccineRyanair
Ryanair’s new advert in response to the new coronavirus vaccineRyanair

The UK is currently enduring a third national lockdown, during which all non-essential travel, both domestic and international, is banned.

Further travel restrictions are currently being mooted, including a mandatory stay at a “quarantine hotel” for all incoming arrivals.

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