Irish budget airline Ryanair has come under fire on social media over its latest campaign to get students to book flights which features a man asleep on a beach next to an empty bottle of alcohol under the tag line “Book on ryanair.com in between “studying” tonight. This could be you ?”.
Facebook users have reacted angrily to the campaign which clearly promotes over-indulgence. One user, Joanne Blackwood, commented on the post saying “Advert just not funny… I have worked out in resort putting the pieces back together when youngsters overdo it with the drink, drugs etc. Kids jumping off balconies, getting assaulted, getting STDs and worse… Even the major tour operators are moving away from this concept with stylish and responsible holiday options for young people. (Jet2 on tour, Cook Club from TC). I am the mother of 3 teenagers and this advert should never have made it out of the marketing department!”
The advert is in stark contrast to Ryanair’s supposed responsible attitude to alcohol, The Irish budget carrier recently wrote a letter written to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from Ryanair urging a limit be imposed to tackle the “growing problem” of drunken customers on-board.
There has been a rise in alcohol related incidents on flights recently, most recently at Bristol Airport when an Easyjet flight was cancelled after police had to be called to a group of drunk males.
Citing CAA statistics of a 600% increase in “disruptive passenger incidents” O’Leary called for “a ban on all alcohol sales at airports before 10am and a limit of two or three alcoholic drinks per passenger thereafter.”
Other comments on Facebook, the vast majority of which were negative, included: “WTF Ryanair??? Who approved this picture/advert???” and “Not appropriate!!! Who ever posted this should be fired !!”
Some user even questioned whether Ryanair had been “hacked”.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) confirmed it had received complaints about the advert and complainants consider that the ad is irresponsible. They told us: “The ad in question falls outside our remit as Ryanair is based in Ireland. We’re a UK regulator. As such, we’ve been in discussions with our counterpart, ASAI. They are now looking into the matter.”
Ben Butler, Content and Communications Director at Drinkaware said: “Getting so drunk that you pass out is bad for your health, your safety and that of other people and your pride. It’s surprising that this is Ryanair’s idea of a ‘dream summer holiday’ and we would urge the airline to look again at this advert and the message it sends.
“Binge drinking in particular can be extremely dangerous as your body can only process about one unit of alcohol an hour, and when you’re in a hot country, you need to be extra mindful of staying hydrated. Drinking a lot in a short space of time can lead to serious consequences, and could stop the body from working properly.
“Holidays offer the ideal opportunity to relax and to create lifelong memories but we would encourage people to be extra cautious, especially when it comes to drinking alcohol abroad.”
Ryanair declined to comment on the advert which they have now deleted from Social Media.
Drinkaware’s top 5 holiday tips:
- Go global. Swap out an alcoholic drink for one of the local specialities, whether that’s a Citron Pressé in France or a Greek-style iced coffee.
- Stay hydrated. Remember that alcohol dehydrates your body, so stock up on plenty of water.
- Be Duty-Free savvy. Do you really need that discounted gin, or bottle of local wine, at Duty-Free? It could lead to you drinking more than you’d like on your return.
- Try dry days. On holiday, dedicated alcohol-free days can help you stay within the guidelines.
- Compare your consumption. The DrinkCompare Calculator will help you compare your drinking to the rest of the UK population, with tips on cutting down.