Ryanair has been ordered not to repeat an advertisement that played down the impact of aviation on the environment. (7/19/2007)
This was decided after Britain´s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints against two of four Ryanair advertisements.
The ad campaign criticised Gordon Brown´s increase in air passenger duty.
As per the information available, Ryanair ran a series of four national press ads, using pictures of the then chancellor to complain about the increased tax rate.
In a press campaign the airline claimed the airline industry "accounts for just two percent of carbon dioxide emissions."
The ASA ruled it breached rules on truthfulness by not explaining the figure was based on global rather than UK emissions.
According to bbc.co.uk, Ryanair claimed the ASA was attempting to suppress an accurate statement, which it would continue to use.
Ryanair´s claim that aviation made up two percent of CO2 emissions was based on global carbon dioxide emissions, the ASA said. The UK government figures for domestic and international flights leaving the UK, put the figure at 5.5 percent.
"Because Ryanair had failed to make the basis of the two percent figure quoted in the ad sufficiently clear, it was likely to mislead," the ASA said.
But Ryanair argued its two percent figure came from a UN report on climate change, and that it used a global figure because the issue was a global one.
Ryanair reportedly criticised the ASA´s decision and accused the watchdog of trying to "cover up" a "travel tax scam."
Responding to the two points on which it was found in breach of the advertising code, the airline said it would defy the ASA´s ruling by continuing to use them in future adverts. "For as long as this travel tax scam continues, Ryanair will continue to use both of these factually accurate statements in its advertising," Ryanair said.