Examining the Unethical Practices in Advertising by Ryanair
Ryanair’s has brought many great success throughout the past years by growing their profitability, returns for shareholders increased and increased strong financial performance due to their low cost strategy. However, with this low cost strategy they have been accused of concealing ancillary revenues and offering customer service only for fees. Based on the questionable practices that are discussed in the case, there are stated some of unethical behaviour of Ryanair in advertising practices.
Ryanair has been faced a controversial or misleading advertisement back in 2008 where BBC News reported that Ryanair did not stated the exact prices include taxes and fees on their advertisement. For instance, on Ryanair’s website the flights display the prices that exclude the fees and taxes and the prices become cheaper. The customer will obviously attracted with the cheaper prices without knowing the consequences afterwards. This led to angry and dissatisfaction among customers who are being treated mislead. Ryanair do acknowledge the misled by giving a statement on their website saying “punchy advertising sometimes gets us in troubles” which means they indicates that aggressive advertisement with a strong message sometimes will gets you in problems also.
Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) argued again with Ryanair in 2011 for their another misleading advertisement. This time the advertisement was featuring a bikini-clad woman promoting trips to “place in the sun”. This advertisement was barred by ASA as the airlines do not comply with the rules and regulations of advertising. It is because the advertising were misled by having a bikini-clad woman promoting “sunny” destinations was totally giving a wrong facts. This is because the bikini-clad woman has got only three hours of sunshine. Hence, the advertisement was at a wrong place and wrong time. People would have been fall for the trick from the advertisement and if this happens frequently. This shows the unethical side by Ryanair by not following the guidelines and policy that was provided by ASA.
Facing an unethical issue was hard especially in terms of to get back customer trust towards our brand. Thereby, I would suggest Ryanair to make some changes in terms of their advertising. It should be no more misleading advertisement, Ryanair need to be transparent regarding the details on the advertisement, it should be obvious and clear to avoid customer misunderstanding towards the advertising. The airline also should be based on facts and the airline also should know all the information in the advertisement to prevent misled. These changes should be taken into action to retain customer base with the brand itself. As a conclusion, as an airline company they should know all the pros and cons if they want to use low-cost strategy despite to become the cheapest flights among others competitors. All the hidden fares and taxes should be included in the prices to prevent confusion and all the information in advertising should have be transparent without twisting the facts. Overall, the airline should comply all the rules and regulations that has been fixed and do research before take any action.