UK advertising watchdog investigates Ryanair’s ‘jab and go’ advert

British regulator launches investigation into budget carrier after 1,600 complaints about advertisement

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair planes are seen at Dublin Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dublin, Ireland, May 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo  GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

Britain’s advertising watchdog has launched an investigation into budget airline Ryanair, after receiving 1,600 complaints about an advertisement that suggested people should “jab and go.’’

The Advertising and Standards Authority said on Monday that some consumers objected to the ad, which featured a syringe and a small bottle labelled “vaccine".

Some said it was misleading to suggest that the vaccine would be distributed across the population by the spring and that travel restrictions would be over.

Others objected to what they saw as trivialising the impact of the pandemic on society.

The ad promoted flights to sunny European destinations and offered seats for £19.99 ($27).

Britain increased its vaccination programme on Monday by becoming the first nation to start using the shot developed by the University of Oxford and drug maker AstraZeneca.

But it is unclear how quickly the nation can be vaccinated.

Ryanair said the ads were accurate, given that two vaccines have been approved for use in the UK. It also confirmed that bookings could be changed without fees.

“Some critics wish to complain just for the sake of getting noticed when it is clear that vaccines will mean an end to Covid travel restrictions in mid-2021,” the airline said.

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