'Irresponsible' Center Parcs term-time holiday advert banned

Watchdog said advert 'irresponsibly' encouraged parents to take their children on holiday when they should be in school

A television advert for Center Parcs resorts has been banned for "irresponsibly" encouraging parents to take their children on holiday during term-time.

The controversial television advert showed families with school-aged children taking part in various activities as part of a £279 four-night "midweek break" promotion, with small print stating that the offer "excludes school holidays".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has now banned the advert after two viewers complained that it was "irresponsible" because it encouraged parents to take their children out of school during term time.

The ASA said: "We considered the emphasis of the ad was on a family break and that the overall impression was that families could take advantage of the advertised offer, which was not available at weekends or during school holidays.

"We also noted the final on-screen text stated 'Your family. Your time', which we considered was likely to be an encouragement for parents to take up the offer.

"Because the ad had focused on a family break to promote an offer which was available only during term time, we concluded it irresponsibly encouraged parents to take their children out of school."

Center Parcs said the decision was "extremely harsh" and claimed it was the responsibility of parents to exercise their own judgement, insisting that it did not encourage them to take their children on holiday when they should be in school.

A Center Parcs spokesman added: "Our ad shows a number of families, with children of varying ages, enjoying some of the activities that are available at Center Parcs. We do not believe the ad encourages parents to take their children out of school and it is very clear that the price displayed excludes school holidays."

Parents in England and Wales have a legal responsibility to make sure their children attend school.

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