Center Parcs TV ad banned for promoting 'family holiday' in term time


Center Parcs TV ad banned for promoting 'family holiday' only available in term timeStock photo, Center Parcs: PA


A Center Parcs television advert promoting a family holiday that was not available during term has been banned for being 'misleading'.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the advert, which was for family of four at a price of £249, cannot be showed again in its present form as it did not specify that the break was only available midweek and not during the school holiday.

It was found to be in breach of rules relating to misleading advertising, qualification and prices.

The advert was screened in January, and showed families taking part in outdoor activities to a voice-over than said: "What would you like your children to inherit? A house? A clock? The family silver? Or something a little more valuable?"

On screen text read: "4 night breaks from £249 for 4 people", and smaller text read: "Subject to availability. Conditions apply. Book by 31 January 2012."

An ASA spokesman told the Scotsman: "While we understood that the only four-night breaks available at Center Parcs were midweek, we considered that some viewers would not be aware of that.

"We considered viewers would understand from the ad that the offer would only be available at the 'from' price at certain times throughout the year.

"Although we accepted that 'school holidays' could not be clearly defined, we noted that the travel dates available when the ad was first broadcast were all in January, February and one date in early March.

"Because the ad focused exclusively on the benefits of the resort for families with young children, we considered that the omission of information about the available travel periods, which would have alerted viewers to the fact that the offer was unlikely to be available during school holidays, was likely to mislead."

The body then went on to state that advert must not be broadcast again in its "current form".

Center Parcs said that viewers would understand that it would not be possible to take a daily of four on to one of its parks during school holidays for £249.

According to the Daily Mail, a spokesman for the company said: "Center Parcs has always adhered to the ASA guidelines and this particular TV ad is no different.

"At no point were we in any way aiming to mislead the public regarding the pricing of our short breaks. To our knowledge, there was actually only one complaint regarding this ad.

"Whilst we believe this ruling to be harsh, we will of course take on board the ASA's comments and continue to work within their guidelines in the future."

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