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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August, 2005, 23:02 GMT 00:02 UK
Terror advert 'was not offensive'
The Ryanair advert
The watchdog rejected complaints about the use of Churchill's words
An advert for low-cost airline Ryanair referring to the London bombings did not cause widespread offence, an industry watchdog has ruled.

The advert, published eight days after the attacks, prompted 319 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

It featured Winston Churchill saying: "We shall fly them to the beaches, we shall fly them to the hills, we shall fly them to London!"

The ASA accepted Ryanair's campaign had been "suitably respectful".

It upheld the airline's claim that the advert, bearing the slogan "London Fights Back", reflected Londoners' "positive and determined" attitude in the aftermath of the bombings.

Complainants had argued that the advert, published in several national newspapers, was offensive because it exploited the London terrorist attacks for commercial gain.

Some also found the parody of Churchill's famous 1940 speech to be distressing and disrespectful to World War II victims.

'Stoical response'

Ryanair denied using the terror attacks for commercial advantage, saying it would not make a profit on the discounted flights advertised.

Instead, the campaign was a positive attempt to encourage travel as usual, the airline said.

The slogan "Let's keep London flying" was intended to encourage people to live their lives as normal and not to be defeated by terror, it added.

The ASA accepted the advert did not cause serious or widespread offence because it focused on the "stoical response that followed the attacks".

It said the use of Churchill's speech and image "were in context with the message and theme of the advertisement".

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