Watchdog bans Eurotunnel advert

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The Independent Online

An advert for Eurotunnel has been banned for claiming the service runs in any weather, a watchdog ruled yesterday.

The email promotion was headlined "France in just 35 minutes", adding: "Whatever the weather." One reader, who was stranded at the Eurotunnel check-in for several hours in December because of heavy snow, challenged whether either claim was accurate.

Eurotunnel provided figures showing that the average crossing time in 2009 was 34.81 minutes. It said it believed that a "reasonable consumer would" not take an absolute view of the claim "whatever the weather".

The company said the December weather had been "very unusual" and argued that its advertising should not have to take such exceptional circumstances into account.

The Advertising Standards Authority said consumers would not expect every journey to take 35 minutes, but said the claim "whatever the weather" could not be made if Eurotunnel was dependent on other companies functioning normally in bad conditions.