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Center Parcs advert banned for encouraging term time holidays

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

Center Parcs

Center Parcs

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An advert for Center Parcs resorts has been banned for "irresponsibly" encouraging parents to take their children on holiday during term time.

The television ad promoting four-night midweek breaks showed families with school-aged children taking part in various activities, with small print stating that the offer "excludes school holidays."

Two viewers complained that the ad was irresponsible because it encouraged parents to take their children out of school during term time.

Center Parcs said it was the responsibility of parents to exercise judgment regarding their children, and there was nothing in the ad that encouraged them to take their children out of school during term times.

The advertising clearance service Clearcast said the issue of taking children out of school during term time was the responsibility of parents, who would be aware that rules had recently been tightened to discourage the practice.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted that many of the scenes in the ad featured families with school-aged children enjoying various activities.

It said: "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.

"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."

The ASA 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."

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  • Kay_Powell  |  April 24 2014, 3:15PM

    Center Parcs claimed that "there was nothing in the ad that encouraged them to take their children out of school during term times." Er.. nothing but the whole advert itself, which was specifically for mid-week family breaks during term times!

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