ASA Ruling on Travel Unravel Holidays Private Ltd
Two paid-for search results on Google for Travel Unravel Holidays Private Ltd were seen on 30 April 2018.
(a) The ad appeared following a search for “british airways” [sic]. Text stated “Call 020 XXXX XXXX – Airways Ticket” followed by “Ad” and the website address “britishairwaysticket.co.uk/”. The web address did not link through to a website. Text underneath stated “Save More! Low Cost Airways Tickets Limited Seats. Call Us to Book Now! Cheap Flights. Holiday Sale. Special offers. Lowest Price”.
(b) The ad appeared following a search for “virgin airways” [sic]. Text stated “Call 020 XXXX XXXX – Airlines Flight”, followed by “Ad” and the website address “virginatlantc.airlines-flight.co.uk/” [sic]. The web address did not link through to a website. Text underneath stated “Get Great Flight Deals & Save Big. Pay Less & Travel More. Call now!”
The complainant challenged whether ads (a) and (b) misleadingly implied that they were for British Airways’ and Virgin Atlantics’ own websites, respectively.
Travel Unravel Holidays Private Ltd did not respond substantively to the complaint. They said they were willing to make changes to the ads.
The complaint was upheld. The ASA noted that the headlines in the ads featured web addresses that were very similar to the names of the airlines British Airways and Virgin Atlantic and the ASA considered consumers were likely to understand from the web addresses that the ads were for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. The ASA noted that in ad (b) the web address was missing a letter so stated “virginatlantc” rather than “virginatlantic”. However, the ASA considered that this was likely to be overlooked by consumers. The ASA also considered that the references to “Airways Ticket”, “Limited Seats”, “Cheap Flights” and “Holiday Sale” in ad (a), and “Airlines Flight”, “Great Flight Deals” and “Pay Less & Travel More” in ad (b) added to that impression.
For those reasons, the ASA concluded that the ads were likely to mislead consumers into thinking that the web addresses or phone numbers listed were for British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, when that was not the case.
[Source: ASA, September 2018]