Rise in errant travel ads

The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) has sent out a stern warning to advertisers and media owners after it saw a rise in misleading travel ad claims.

In a letter seen by Marketing, the advertising watchdog said it has seen a rise in complaints against travel agencies and airlines, with most complaints regarding these not disclosing full prices in the advertisements.

It also said that it had previously already issued an advisory on the disclosure of full prices in such advertisements, and advised advertisers to make clear all inclusive prices.

Seah Seng Choon, executive director, Consumers Association of Singapore (of which ASAS comes under), said that the ASAS regulates only misleading advertisements or those that made false claims.

Seah said its monitoring of such ads depends on the public raising questionable ads to the ASAS. "The council will then decide whether the ad is objectionable. If it is, we will seek for substantiation or require the company to make amendments. In the event that the company refuses to comply, we will suspend the ad.

In the event that any agency or airline breaches any clauses under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA), CASE will take action if necessary," he added.

In the letter, it advised that these advertisers place, at the least, a disclaimer that the advertised price might come with additional charges.

It is not known who the errant advertisers are.

One airline Marketing spoke to said the ruling had little effect. Chief executive officer of Scoot Campbell Wilson said as this was something it already practiced, the airline's marketing activities was little affected."We already advertise all-in prices, so there is no material effect on us. More broadly, we support the underlying principle of transparency," he said.