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ASA Adjudication on Israel Government Tourist Office

Israel Government Tourist Office t/a ThinkIsrael.com

UK House
180 Oxford Street
London
W1D 1NN

Date:

9 April 2008

Media:

Magazine

Sector:

Holidays and travel

Number of complaints:

1

Complaint Ref:

48887

Ad

A magazine ad, for a website promoting holidays in Israel. The images depicted well-known landmarks, including Qumran on the Dead Sea; text stated "YOU CAN TRAVEL THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF ISRAEL IN 6 HOURS imagine what you can experience in 7 days VISIT THINKISRAEL.COM NOW FOR MORE 4, 7 & 10 DAY ITINERARIES IN ISRAEL".

Issue

The complainant objected that the ad was misleading, because it gave the impression that Qumran was in the state of Israel when in fact it was in the occupied West Bank. She pointed out that the status of the occupied territories and the borders of Israel were the subject of considerable international controversy and that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against travel to the Occupied Territories.

CAP Code (Edition 11)

Response

ThinkIsrael.com did not respond to our enquiries.

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA was concerned by ThinkIsrael.coms lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 2.6 (Non-response). We reminded them of their obligations under the Code and told them to respond promptly in future.

We noted the ad promoted a website that made clear that tourists could visit Qumran as part of the itineraries offered. We considered, however, that the image of Qumran, in conjunction with the claim "YOU CAN TRAVEL THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF ISRAEL IN 6 HOURS ..." implied that Qumran was in the state of Israel. We noted Qumran was in the occupied West Bank, not the state of Israel, and considered that the ad was therefore misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code clauses 2.6 (Non-response) and 7.1 (Truthfulness).

Action

We told ThinkIsrael.com to withdraw the ad. We asked CAP to advise its members of the problem with them.

Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)

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