Yesterday the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned a highly misleading video by a claims management company, which encouraged people to make holiday sickness claims. The YouTube video, which promoted the website holidaysicknessclaims.co.uk, was banned as a result of a complaint by ABTA. We challenged the video on three counts and we were very pleased that the ASA upheld all three. The content in this ad was highly misleading and potentially led people to believe, wrongly, that a significant number of deaths were related to holiday sickness; that holidaysicknessclaims.co.uk would be recording claims for official statistical analysis so it was important for people to get in touch; and that recent changes to the Package Travel Directive meant that people would now be more likely to succeed in making a claim as the burden of proof was shifted to the tour operator. All these assertions are false, and it is important that holidaymakers understand this. I am pleased to see that a number of national newspapers have already published the story and hopefully more will follow. We will continue to confront head-on the dubious tactics of some CMCs and I would encourage Members to report any other such videos or other forms of misleading advertising to us, so that we can pass them on to the appropriate regulator.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive