Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The Advertising Standards Authority has banned an Israeli Tourism poster that misleadingly implies that the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip are still part of Israel. The ASA received more than 400 complaints from the public about the poster. In response the Israeli Ministry of Tourism said that the poster was not intended to be a political map, and that the criticism was political. But the ASA responded,
[T]he aim of the ad was to promote tourism to Israel. We also noted that the map featured in the ad was labelled "Israel" and we considered that, along with the claim "Few countries pack so much variety into such a small space as Israel", the ad implied that all of the areas featured on the map were part of the state of Israel. We noted that the map showed border lines for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but we also noted that those border lines were faintly produced and difficult to distinguish on the map itself. We understood that the borders and status of the occupied territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights were the subject of much international dispute, and because we considered that the ad implied that those territories were part of the state of Israel, we concluded that the ad was misleading.