UK bans travel ad for referring to Jerusalem's Old City as Israeli

Advertising watchdog says ad misleads consumers into thinking Old City a part of Israel.

Aerial view of Jerusalem in snow (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Aerial view of Jerusalem in snow
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
The Advertising Standards Authority, a British advertising watchdog, banned an Israeli tourism advertisement Wednesday featuring the capital’s Old City under the pretext of being “misleading,” as it suggests it is part of Israel.
The ad, titled “Israel: Land of Creation,” features a photograph juxtaposing the walled Old City and Dome of the Rock with the more modern buildings of west Jerusalem. Its text reads “Israel has it all” and “everyone falls for the Old City, with its narrow (and car-free) alleys, teeming pilgrims and bazaar-like buzz,” according to AFP.
The authority, AFP said, banned the advertisement following the receipt of a complaint.
In a statement, the authority said the ad could mislead consumers into making uninformed decisions when booking a trip to Israel.
The Israel Government Tourist Office denied the authority’s allegations that its ad suggests that east Jerusalem is a part of Israel. According to AFP, the governmental office said it did not seek to make a political statement but merely sought to provide consumers with practical information regarding the sites featured in the ad, which could be accessed only through a visit to Israel.