New ATAS ad guidelines
NEW advertising guidelines for ATAS participants have been handed down, effective today.
While much of the content regarding the new instructions are modelled on Australian Competition and Consumer Commission publications, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents’ (AFTA) new ATAS guidance clarifies rules surrounding two-price comparison & component pricing.
Two-price comparisons, which are incumbent on the phrases “typically” and “valued at”, will now require advertisers to retain records and be able to substantiate their advertising.
This includes records of how long the product was offered for sale at the “was” price; what other prices were offered during that period; and how many sales were made at the “was” or “typically or valued at” price versus how many sales were made at other prices.
New guidelines also govern component pricing, which implores advertisers to state a total price rather than promoting a price of a portion of the total.
Advertisers must now include in price advertising all taxes, duties, levies and/or charges payable; resort fees; mandatory gratuities; and direct payments required to third parties.
Both two-price comparisons and component pricing have drawn the ire of the industry over the past 12 months, with Australian Travel Agents Cooperative Chairman (ATAC) Ken Morgan telling Travel Daily in Oct ATAC members were concerned about the public being misled by members of the industry (Travel Daily 12 Oct).
The AFTA Board has approved the standards, with an amnesty period of three months allowing members to implement changes required.
For those interested in finding out more, AFTA has detailed the ATAS changes on its website, accessible HERE.
AFTA will also host two webinars regarding the changes, taking place in Feb and Mar.