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Airline's warning on dig at English

AN AIRLINE was yesterday warned by the Commission for Racial Equality to expect complaints over an advert which urges travellers to "avoid the English". Icelandair is promoting flights from Glasgow to America, via Reykjavik, with an advertising campaign which uses the slogan "Avoid the English and enjoy the hassle-free way to the USA".

Today the CRE warned the company it should expect people to complain about the wording of the newspaper advert, though it does not breach discrimination guidelines. Spokes-man Mick Conboy said: "I can see what they are driving at but I think the way they are pitching it in the present climate would be likely to lead to some complaints. Against the current background it might cause offence to some people."

Sam Knowles, of advertising agency BDP which created the slogan, said: "We are not surprised to have ruffled a few feathers. We are just pointing out the fact that most airlines do not fly direct to America from Glasgow. The copywriter who wrote the slogan is English and we asked the Advertising Standards Agency to look at it and they laughed.

"It is certainly not racist. We want it to be seen as amusing. The CRE is over-reacting."