The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints against a number of misleading marketing practices, ones that readers will wish to avoid.

o The Daily Mail newspaper, published by Associated Newspapers, ran a Ryanair-style ad offering caravan holidays “from just £15 per person”, and only mentioning the additional and compulsory service charges in the small print. Also glossed over in the headline was the fact that extra charges were levied for passes allowing customers to use swimming pools, bars and restaurants.

o The National Express Group promoted its Stansted Express service as running from the airport to Central London in 35 minutes. In fact the company deemed Tottenham Hale as Central London for the purposes of shortening its journey time, which is likely to be nearer 60 minutes, via Liverpool Street and the notoriously poor London Underground system, timing not allowing for strike action.

o To sell Health and Safety posters supplier Seton sent out its mailing in a brown window envelope with the imprint “Legal Compliance – Action Required” to give some official flavour to their marketing communication, an aspect the ASA ruled was likely to cause fear or distress for no good reason.

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