Stena Line upsets ad watchdog with email campaign

Ferry operator Stena Line has become the latest travel company to incur the wrath of advertising watchdogs for its email marketing.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld two complaints against an email promotion late last year in which consumers were offered a “lowest fare to Ireland”.

The ticket price in question had in fact been beaten by rival operator Irish Ferries on its Fishguard to Rosslare route.

A table of fares on Irish ferry routes in the same email indicated prices based on “Was…”, “Now from…” and “You save up to…”.

The complainant suggested to the ASA that the fares were not genuine.

Stena Line admitted it had misled customers over lowest prices but argued the table contained fares obtained from its main brochure and the reduced prices had been part of a promotion during autumn 2005.

“We were concerned that Stena Line had not provided any documentary evidence of the advertised fares,” the ASA said in its ruling.

“We reminded them of their responsibility to provide substantiation of their claims and told Stena Line not to make claims in future unless they could provide appropriate substantiation.”

The ASA recently slammed for an email bulletin to subscribers which referred to convicted sex offender Gary Glitter was used to plug children’s theatre tickets in London. apologised for what it called an “error in judgment”.

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