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Ryanair rapped over Thomas Cook ad campaign

Associated Press Published: March 7, 2012

DUBLIN (AP) — An advertising watchdog has reprimanded Irish airline Ryanair over an ad campaign that suggested British travel company Thomas Cook was likely to collapse.

The London-based Advertising Standards Agency says in a judgment Wednesday that Ryanair's newspaper ads in the run-up to last Christmas misled viewers and denigrated Thomas Cook, which was struggling financially after a string of profit warnings.

The November ads led with the message "Bye Bye Thomas Cook," reprinted newspaper headlines on Thomas Cook's debt difficulties, and noted Ryanair was "guaranteed to keep flying this Christmas."

The Advertising Standards Agency says the ads implied that Thomas Cook was likely to collapse by Christmas.

Ryanair denied this was its intent. Thomas Cook didn't comment.