ASA Adjudication on Flight Centre (UK) Ltd
Flight Centre (UK) Ltd
2nd Floor, CI Tower
St George's Square
10 November 2010
Internet (sponsored search)
Holidays and travel
Number of complaints:
A Google sponsored search link for Flight Centre stated, "South Africa Flights £348 Cheap Flights to South Africa £348 Includes taxes - ATOL Protected".
A complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading, because he had been unable to obtain flights on any date at the advertised price.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Flight Centre (UK) Ltd (Flight Centre) acknowledged the price in the ad was incorrect and said it related to an old offer that had not been updated. They said the error occurred due to the volume of advertising they managed, with up to 2,714 pay-per-click ads being run at any time, all managed by one person. They said they were looking at purchasing a system to prevent a similar error in future.
The ASA noted Flight Centre's explanation that the ad related to an expired price point. However, we were concerned that the complainant maintained he had seen the ad for over 12 months, but had been unable to obtain flights at the price stated during that period. We noted that no evidence was supplied by Flight Centre to show the offer had been available within the last twelve months. Because we had not received evidence that the offer had been available, or when the offer expired, we concluded the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) Clauses 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), and 3.17 (Prices).
The ad must not appear in its current form again.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)