Why don't the 'Absurd Silly Asses' like us, asks Ryanair?

Ryanair has formally complained about the ASA, the pesky regulator that won't stop ruling against it....

Last Updated: 27 Jul 2011

In a submission to the Office of Fair Trading, Ryanair points out that the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against it seven times in two years. Ryanair thinks this is conclusive proof that the regulator ‘has abandoned any attempt at independence or impartiality when ruling on [our] adverts’ – as opposed to the apparently more plausible explanation that the airline makes a lot of inappropriate adverts…

Ryanair’s complaint goes through five of the seven rulings in turn, protesting against the ridiculousness of each and every decision. However, it reserves particular ire for a recent ruling against a promotion offering 2m £10 tickets – which it claims was based on a complaint from someone who couldn’t even remember what ticket he was trying to book (when he failed to discover a £10 fare), and involved all kinds of procedural iniquities that there aren’t enough hours in the day for us to outline in full.

The only logical conclusion, therefore, is that the regulator must be picking on them. ‘The ASA has denied Ryanair fair procedures, ignored Ryanair’s evidence and pursued a complaint which has no evidential basis whatsoever. This clearly confirms the ASA’s bias, and blind determination to rule against Ryanair’s adverts,’ a spokesman for the airline said.

But why on earth would a public body like the ASA pursue an ongoing vendetta against a private company like Ryanair? Well, it could be something to do with the stream of invective from the airline whenever the regulator rules against it. In January, after the ACA decided that an advert featuring a model dressed in a saucy schoolgirl’s outfit might just be inappropriate for a ‘Back to School’ fares promotion, Ryanair called it ‘an absurd and out of touch quango…more Monty Pythonesque by the day…a bunch of unelected, self-appointed dimwits,’ and suggested that ASA actually stood for ‘Absurd Silly Asses’. So that might not have helped relations…

According to Ryanair, the ASA ‘has a stated policy of ‘fighting back’ against Ryanair’s justified public criticisms of its bizarre, factually inaccurate and untenable rulings.’ Which we thinks mean: the ASA has a policy of defending itself when it’s called rude names by those companies it has ruled against – how absurd of it...

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