International low-cost airline Ryanair has agreed to pull its controversial “Jab & Go” advertisements.
The Dublin-based carrier agreed to pull the ads after the Advertising Standards Authority of the United Kingdom (ASA) announced the campaign had received more than 1,600 complaints, reported Fox News.
The ads began running at the end of last year and insinuated that once COVID vaccines were administered people could begin flying freely as soon as the spring.
According to the outlet, one ad said: “COVD vaccines are coming, so book your Easter and summer holidays today with Ryanair." The campaign also featured the tagline “Jab & Go” with an image of a syringe and a bottle labeled vaccine.
Many of the complaints allegedly called the advertisement "offensive and irresponsible," and said it trivialized the pandemic, reported CNN.
Following an investigation of the complaints, the ASA ordered the airline to stop running the ads because "consumers would interpret the phrase ‘vax and go’/‘jab and go’ as an unequivocal endorsement of vaccinating and travelling unconditionally," reported the Independent.
While Ryanair will comply with the ruling, a spokesperson called the ruling “baseless.”
“The ASA’s ruling flies in the face of the UK’s successful vaccine rollout, however even though this ruling is baseless, Ryanair will comply with it and the Jab and Go adverts will not run again,” the company said in a statement.
The airline previously defended the campaign when the uproar was first reported.
"Our ad is factually accurate, vaccines are coming (two are already approved) and this will enable passengers to book much needed sunshine breaks for Easter and Summer 2021 and avail of Ryanair’s low prices,” the company said in a statement to Fox News.
“The ad also confirms that any such bookings can be changed free of change fees if customer plans change, which gives Ryanair customers even more assurances when they make Easter or Summer 2021 bookings now.”