ASA criticises firm for ‘impersonating’ BA in email marketing

ASA criticises firm for ‘impersonating’ BA in email marketing

A travel company which tried to pass itself off as British Airways has been criticised by the advertising watchdog.

An advert produced in an email by Essex-based Top Travel, trading as Flywhizz, included text at the top which stated “From British Airways”. Various airlines were listed in the body of the email issued last October, including BA.

The Advertising Standards Authority stepped in after a consumer challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied the marketer was BA.

Banning the advert, the ASA ruled today: “We told Flywhizz to ensure their future advertising did not misleadingly imply they were an airline when they were not.”

Upholding the compliant, the ASA said: “We noted the text at the top of the email which stated the sender was “From British Airways” and the use of the British Airways airline branding, alongside other airline brandings, in the body of the email.

“We therefore considered that consumers would understand from the ad that the marketer was British Airways. While we noted the ad featured a large logo for Flywhizz, we did not consider this countered the overall impression.

“Because we considered the ad implied the marketer was British Airways, although we understood the marketer was Flywhizz, we concluded the ad was misleading.”

Flywhizz told the ASA it did not intend to present itself as BA and the inclusion of British Airways in the header was a mistake.

The firm argued that the advert clearly mentioned its brand, company name and contact number. The company also said the advert was no longer appearing.

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