ASA upholds complaint that eDreams ads implied they were promoting official sites of easyJet and Ryanair.

Four ads for eDreams, a travel agency, which offered easyJet and Ryanair flights, were seen in July 2015.  Two Google sponsored search results stated respectively, “easyJet Cheap Flights – Fly from £19 with easyJet. www.easyjet.edreams.co.uk. Book your easyJet Flight today!” and “Ryanair Cheap Flights – Book Now Ryanair Flight From £19. www.ryanair.edreams.co.uk. Cheap Flight to Europe with Ryanair.

A website, www.easyjet.edreams.co.uk, stated “eDreams” and included the easyJet logo, immediately beneath which text stated: “Book Easyjet cheap flights from £14. Find the best deals with eDreams”.  It featured an aeroplane with the easyJet livery and underneath text stated: “Why book easyJet flights with eDreams? … Choose from 600 easyJet flights with eDreams”.  Under the heading “Easyjet flights information”, further claims stated “Browse low cost flights with easyjet using the eDreams search engine above.  Keep reading to find more information regarding easyjet flights”. The ad provided details of easyJet’s hand and checked baggage allowances and included the easyJet logo.  At the bottom of the landing page, a footnote stated, “This Site is published by eDreams for comparison, information and commercial purpose and it has no link with the official website of the airline here above mentioned”.

A similar website, www.ryanair.edreams.co.uk repeated the above wording substituting easyJet for Ryanair.

The ASA said that the references to easyJet and Ryanair in the two Google search results were repeated more frequently than eDreams and noted that, because they were more prominent, eDreams’ name could be overlooked, especially because it appeared after “easyjet” and “ryanair” within the URL.

The ASA said that the website ads did not make it clear that consumers would be visiting the eDreams website when clicking on links that were provided to consumers using the search terms “easyJet” and “Ryanair”.  The ASA considered that the impression created by the webpages through the use of the corporate branding and repeated, more prominent references to “easyJet” and “Ryanair” were likely to lead consumers to think they were visiting the official sites for these airlines.  As such, all four ads were found in breach of CAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising).  To read ASA Ruling on Vacaciones eDreams SL (2 March 2016), click here.