ASA slams Ryanair over 'robbery' ads

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The budget airline Ryanair yesterday found itself on the wrong side of advertising regulators for the third time in four months. The Advertising Standards Authority said it had told the airline not to repeat advertisements in which it accused online ticket agents such as of ripping off customers. complained to the ASA after Ryanair published adverts that read "Robbed by" and a cartoon illustration of a burglar. The advert claimed online ticket agents often charged 100 per cent more for tickets on the airline than Ryanair itself would charge and that their terms and conditions were misleading.

Yesterday, the ASA upheld four separate complaints from, ruling that Ryanair had "unfairly discredited" the agent and that the airline's advert was misleading.

The ASA's decision to ban Ryanair's advert is the latest in a series of spats between the watchdog and the airline. In August, Ryanair was told not to repeat claims that its London to Brussels service was cheaper and quicker than the Eurostar train service. The airline had not taken into account the cost and time of travelling to Stansted.

In July, the watchdog criticised Ryanair for claims about climate change. It has also taken the airline to task for continuing to publish adverts ruled misleading.