Center Parcs TV ad banned

Center Parcs TV ad bannedA TV ad for CenterParcs has been banned by the advertising watchdog for promoting a family deal that was only available in the middle of the week during school term time.

The TV ad, created by Beattie McGuinness Bungay, aired on 23 January. It showed families taking part in outdoor activities and included a voiceover that said: “What would you like your children to inherit? A house? A clock? The family silver? Or something a little more valuable?

The on-screen text read:”4 night breaks from £249 for 4 people”, while smaller text read “Subject to availability. Conditions apply. Book by 31 January 2012.”

But the Advertising Standard Authority(ASA) received a complaint a after a viewer argued it was misleading because it was not clear that the four-night, £249 break had to be taken in January, February or March, when most pupils are at school.

In its defence, Center Parcs said it did not believe consumers would be expected to be able to take a family of four on holiday at the advertised price point, adding that the visual message of the ad was intended only as a general description of the Center Parcs environment, within which holidays were available at the price in the on-screen text.

But the ASA in its ruling said “The omissions of information about the available travel periods was likely to mislead.”

Center Parcs admitted the deals were not available in school holidays but said the ruling was “harsh”.

This News top secret hotel was added on 16 May 2012

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