ASA Adjudication on Emaan Travel Ltd
Emaan Travel Ltd
Vista Business Centre
50 Salisbury Road
3rd Floor, Suite 9
30 May 2012
Holidays and travel
Number of complaints:
Two travel websites operated by Emaan Travel Ltd:
a. The first website, emaantravel.co.uk, displayed the IATA and ATOL logos in the bottom right-hand corner.
b. The second website, cheapflightscenter.org.uk, displayed the IATA and ATOL logos in the bottom left-hand corner of each page. Text which appeared on various pages, under the heading "Your Financial Protection", stated "The air holiday packages (or Cheap flights) shown are ATOL protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority ...". Text on a page headed "Atol Protected" stated "Emaan Travel is fully bonded and covered by UK consumer protection through ATOL, IATA, so when you book a holiday with us peace of mind is part of the package".
The complainant challenged whether the use of the IATA and ATOL logos in ads (a) and (b) was misleading, because it implied that Emaan Travel was a member of those bodies when they understood that was not the case.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Emaan Travel said they had asked their IT department to remove the logos. They said that the airline tickets they purchased on behalf of their customers were purchased from IATA and ATOL suppliers, so their customers were protected. They said they ensured all their service providers were ATOL and IATA protected.
The ASA noted the CAP Code stated that marketing communications must not display a trust mark, quality mark or equivalent without the necessary authorisation, and that marketers must not imply they were endorsed or authorised by any public or other body unless that was the case. We contacted IATA and the Civil Aviation Authority, which administered ATOLs, to confirm whether Emaan Travel was permitted to display the logos.
IATA confirmed that Emaan Travel was not one of their accredited agents. We concluded it was therefore misleading for them to display the IATA logo in their advertising. Furthermore, we noted ad (b) included the claim "Emaan Travel is fully bonded and covered by UK consumer protection through ATOL, IATA ...", which we considered also implied that Emaan Travel was an IATA accredited agent. We concluded that reference to IATA was also misleading.
The CAA confirmed that Emaan Travel was not an ATOL holder. We concluded it was therefore misleading for them to display the ATOL logo in their advertising. Furthermore, we noted ad (b) included claims such as "The air holiday packages (or Cheap flights) shown are ATOL protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority ...", "Atol protected" and "Emaan Travel is fully bonded and covered by UK consumer protection through ATOL ...", which we considered stated or implied that Emaan Travel held an ATOL. Because we understood that was not the case, we concluded those claims were also misleading.
The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.50 (Endorsements and Testimonials).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Emaan Travel not to use the IATA or ATOL logos in their advertising until such time as they were given IATA accreditation or held an ATOL. We also told them not to state or imply that they were an IATA accredited agent or that they held an ATOL, until such time as that was the case.