[The British] Advertising Standards Authority rules poster showing Western Wall and Dome of the Rock ‘likely to mislead’. The Israeli Government Tourist Office (IGTO) press ad… featured a range of photos of destinations in Israel including a picture of [East] Jerusalem.
IOA Editor: An ingenious protest frontier! Hurray for UK Regulation!
By Mark Sweney, The Guardian – 14 April 2010
Advertising Standards Authority rules poster showing Western Wall and Dome of the Rock ‘likely to mislead’
An Israeli tourist office press campaign has been banned by the UK advertising regulator for including pictures of East Jerusalem, part of the Palestinian occupied territories.
The Israeli Government Tourist Office (IGTO) press ad stated that a tourist can “travel the entire length of Israel in six hours” and featured a range of photos of destinations in Israel including a picture of Jerusalem.
A complaint was received by the Advertising Standards Authority that the image showed the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, both of which are in East Jerusalem and part of the occupied territories of the West Bank.
The ASA said that readers of the ad were likely to assume that all the places featured in the ad were within the state of Israel.
“The status of the occupied territory of the West Bank [is] the subject of much international dispute, and because we considered that the ad implied that the part of East Jerusalem featured in the image was part of the state of Israel, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead,” added the ASA.
The ASA banned the ad and told the IGTO not to imply that places in the occupied territories were part of the state of Israel.
Replying on behalf of the IGTO, the State of Israel Ministry of Tourism (SIMT) said the ad provided “basic, accurate information to a prospective UK traveller who wanted to know what to expect in Israel”.
The SIMT said that the present legal status of Jerusalem was irrelevant unless there was an unnecessary attempt to “interpret the straightforward message of the ad in a manner that went beyond what consumers were likely to understand from the ad”.