Travel agent told off for potentially misleading advert

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Travel agent told off for potentially misleading advert

An agent broke advertising rules when it promoted both ‘all inclusive’ and ‘ultra all-inclusive’ holidays at the same hotel in Corfu on its website.

The two holidays at the Cook’s Club Hotel were offered by different suppliers, with the ‘ultra all-inclusive’ option costing £151 per person more.

However, someone complained to the advertising watchdog, saying the hotel offered only one type of all-inclusive.

The complaint was upheld and Inspired Luxury Escapes, part of Broadway Travel (Wimbledon), has been warned by the Advertising Standards Authority not to repeat the advert, which failed to provide any information about the difference between the two board types.

The ASA said: “We considered that, in the absence of that information, consumers were likely to understand that the ‘Ultra All Inclusive’ booking option offered better accommodation or more comprehensive services or facilities than the ‘All Inclusive’ option.

“Because consumers were likely to interpret the ad to mean there was a material difference in the level of accommodation or services/facilities on offer between the two board options, and we had not seen evidence that this was the case, the ad was likely to mislead.”

Inspired Luxury Escapes had argued that as a travel agent it had acted ‘purely as an intermediary in the transaction’ and that the terms and conditions applied based on the supplier’s description and pricing.

It said different suppliers featured on its website often used different wording and pricing for the same properties.

In this instance, Inspired Luxury Escapes said two suppliers had worded the description differently, which was at their discretion. It said this was a ‘frequent occurrence’, but after it had been told of the complaint the supplier had changed the description from ‘ultra all inclusive’ to ‘all inclusive’.

The ASA said it ‘considered that Inspired Luxury Escapes were responsible for the contents of their website’.

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