An advertisement for Center Parcs has been banned because it was found to be ‘irresponsibly’ encouraging parents to take their children out of school for a holiday.
Two complaints were made about the television ad which promoted four-night midweek breaks showing images of school aged children taking part in various outdoor activities.
The small print read that the offer ‘excluded school holidays.’
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) considered the complaints made about the advertisement and ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Center Parcs to avoid promoting family breaks which were available only during school term times.”
The ASA explained that it felt that the advertisement was ‘irresponsible’ and that it encouraged parents to take their children out of school for holidays.
“We considered the emphasis of the ad was on a family break and that the overall impression was that families could take advantage of the advertised offer, which was not available at weekends or during school holidays.” they said.
“We also noted the final on-screen text stated ‘Your family. Your time’, which we considered was likely to be an encouragement for parents to take up the offer.
“Because the ad had focused on a family break to promote an offer which was available only during term time, we concluded it irresponsibly encouraged parents to take their children out of school.”
Tempted to take the kids on a term-time break? Don’t be…
Every parent will be aware of the temptation to take children out of school for a holiday during term-time when there are often special offers and lower prices. However, parents who do this now face fines of £60 per pupil who is taken out of school without permission. This fine will rise to £120 if not paid within 7 days.
If a parent refuses to pay, they can face a fine of £2,500 and possibly even a custodial sentence of up to three months.