TV advert sparks term-time family holidays debate

term-time family holidays

term-time family holidaysA Center Parcs commercial advertising term-time family holidays at a price only available midweek while the kids are at school has been banned by the advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the company guilty of misleading advertising, saying the advert suggested families would be able to book a four-night break for four from £249, even though the price wasn't available during school holidays or at weekends.

The advert was shown in January and asked parents whether they wanted their children to inherit "something a little more valuable" than "the family silver".

But a viewer challenged whether the Center Parcs ad was misleading, saying it didn't clarify that people could only get the deal at the advertised price during the week. Many families struggle to decide whether or not to take their kids out of school in order to capitalise on cheaper holiday prices, with this discussion on term-time family holidays offering opinions from both viewpoints.

Center Parcs said it mentioned the offer was subject to certain conditions in the advert. The firm said one of these conditions was that it was "available on selected four night midweek breaks".

It added that the only four-night breaks it sells are for trips between Monday and Thursday, something which it says would have been reiterated to customers when they made further enquiries.

The offer was initially available for breaks from January to March, with dates in September, early October and November and early December added later.

The firm added that school holiday dates vary in different areas.

But the advertising watchdog upheld the complaint.

The ASA said: "Because the ad focused exclusively on the benefits of the resort for families with young children, we considered that the omission of information about the available travel periods, which would have alerted viewers to the fact that the offer was unlikely to be available during school holidays, was likely to mislead."

For cheap holidays abroad for families during the summer holidays check out our guide to deals and discounts on package breaks.