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Airlink "George" / G Fish & Others / 4685

Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
G Fish & Others Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
SA Airlink (Pty) Ltd Respondent

14 Mar 2006

Consumer complaints were lodged against an SA Airlink print advertisement offering “surprisingly low fares from R114* one way…to selected domestic Airlink destinations” that appeared in the Sunday Times.

The advertisement indicates the various routes available. These routes include “George” as a destination from Johannesburg.

COMPLAINTS
In essence, the complainants submitted that the advertised offer is misleading because there is no flight to George as indicated in the advertisement.

Furthermore, once rates and taxes are added to the advertised price, the final costs are similar to normal fares charged on other airlines. Accordingly, the rates are not “surprisingly low” as advertised.

RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
In light of the complaints the following clauses of the Code were taken into account:

• Section II, Clause 4.2.1 – Misleading claims

• Section II, Clause 19 – Pricing policy

• Section IV, Clause 4 – Non availability of advertising products

RESPONSE
The respondent undertook never use the advertising complained about in its current format in future.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

The ASA has a long standing principle which holds that where an advertiser provides an unequivocal undertaking to withdraw or amend its advertising in a manner that addresses the concerns raised, that undertaking is accepted without considering the merits of the matter.

The respondent has provided such an undertaking and the Directorate accepts it on condition that the advertisement complained about is removed with immediate effect within the deadlines stipulated in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide, and is not used again in its current format in future.

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