Ryanair’s ‘jab and go’ advert investigated after sparking 1,600 complaints

(CNN) – Europe’s largest airline, Ryanair, is under investigation by the UK Advertising Standards Agency after a “jab and go” advertising campaign promoting air travel following the introduction of coronavirus vaccinations generated more than a thousand complaints.

The British advertising watchdog told CNN that it had opened a formal investigation into more than 1,600 complaints about Ryanair’s complaint.

The ad on the airline’s website includes the slogans “Book Summer”, “Vaccines Are Coming” and “Jab & Go”, a picture of a syringe and a bottle labeled “Vaccine”, accompanied by promotions for cheap flights.

Ryanair’s Jair & Go advertising campaign.

Ryaniar.com

An ASA spokesman told CNN in a statement that the complainants objected that the advertisement “misleadingly suggests that the vaccine was successfully introduced into the population by spring / summer and that no travel restrictions would apply until then”.

Complainants also found the ad “offensive and irresponsible,” he said, adding, “In their view, it trivializes the impact of the pandemic on individuals and society.”

The ASA has opened a formal investigation into the airline and will release the results “in due course,” the spokesman added.

CNN asked Ryanair for a comment.

Some countries – including the UK and the United States – are already getting their first vaccinations against Covid-19, but it is likely that most of the population will have to wait months before getting their shocks. For citizens of other countries, the waiting time could be even longer.

The aviation industry has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines struggled to entice customers to travel because travel restrictions were being followed by law and people didn’t want to fly.

Numerous airlines have closed while earnings and loss reports for the third quarter of the year show the extent to which the remaining airlines have been crippled by the pandemic.

North American passenger jet arrivals were down 48% year over year in December, according to aviation analysis firm Cirium, while Latin America barely did better at 46%. The numbers in Europe are meanwhile devastated – more than 70% less than last year. Even in the Asia-Pacific region, which has controlled the pandemic better than other regions, arrivals today are still more than 30% lower than they were at this time last year.

CNN’s Julia Buckley contributed to this report.

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