UK regulator rules against deceptive settlement ad in The Jewish Chronicle

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK body that regulates truthfulness in advertising, has ruled against an ad in The Jewish Chronicle for promoting real estate in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The 2 November ASA ruling says that the ad, which appeared in June 2011, was headlined, “Vineyard View EFRAT New Neighbourhood in Dekel UNIQUE DEVLEOPMENT [sic] OF 26 NEW HOUSES.” According to the ASA:

The ad featured aerial photos of the development and bullet pointed text listed the features of the development, including “Independent Group Purchase … Israeli finance subject to status.”

However, the ASA upheld a complaint by Michael Shanahan that the advertisement “misleadingly implied that the development in Efrat in Dekel was in Israel.” Efrat is not in “Israel” but is an illegal colony in the occupied West Bank.

ASA stated, “We considered that the fact that the development in Efrat in Dekel was in the West Bank, in territory not internationally recognised as part of Israel, was likely to be highly material to consumers and that the omission of the information rendered the ad misleading.

In its ruling, ASA noted that the advertiser, ILAN Real Estate, did not respond to its enquiries. ASA instructed: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told ILAN to avoid in future similar ads misleading as to the location of property developments.”

In line with previous rulings against deceptive Israeli ads

The ruling against the ILAN Real Estate ad in The Jewish Chronicle is in line with earlier adjudications by the ASA against Israeli firms and government agencies.

Last year, for example, ASA ruled that the Israel Tourist Office was deceiving the public with ads that implied that parts of eastern occupied Jerusalem were in “Israel.”

Efforts to sell settlement properties in UK fall flat

In a statement received by The Electronic Intifada, Shanahan pointed out that “The advertisement mentioned that ILAN Real Estate had a stall at the Israel Property & Investment Exhibition at the Regents Marriott Hotel,” in London last June, and that “this poorly attended event was picketed by the London Boycott Divestment and Sanctions group holding a banner saying ‘Stop Stealing Palestine Land.’”

Israeli government ads on British Airways also appear to breach advertising standards

An Israeli Ministry of Tourism brochure inserted into the October 2011 issue of the British Airways magazine High Life appeared to clearly breached earlier ASA rulings.

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Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.