CAA to write to travel companies found to use happy emojis to promote tours to Auschwitz
After Hays Travel was forced to apologise for a second time for using smiley-face emojis to promote tours to the Auschwitz death camp, it can be revealed that another travel firm has also been operating the same practice.
Snowdonia Travel and Cruise used happy face emojis with heart eyes to publicise its ‘Krakow and Auschwitz tour’. Campaign Against Antisemitism will be writing to the agency.
Polka Dot Travel Wrexham also used coloured heart emojis to promote its ‘Krakow with Auschwitz tour’.
We are grateful to the member of the public who brought this to our attention.
Recently, Hays Travel apologised for a second time after it was discovered that it once again used jovial imagery on Facebook to promote its Auschwitz tours, which it listed along with trips to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon.
Hays Travel said: “We are very sorry to have caused offence especially after we tried to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. As soon as this was brought to our attention we immediately removed these posts from Facebook.”
According to the JC, the Advertising Standards Authority said in relation to Hays Travel that it took “this particular issue very seriously and recognise that this obviously has the potential to prompt concerns,” adding that its rules say that advertisements “should not contain anything likely to cause harm or offence.” It has the power to order advertisers to remove materials.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Despite the controversy over Hays Travel’s repeated use of emojis to advertise trips to Auschwitz, for which the company has apologised, for other travel firms to be doing the same is utterly incredible. Of all institutions, travel agents should be most sensitive to what the destinations that they are advertising represent. That so many in the travel industry continue to portray Auschwitz as some sort of theme park through the use of jovial emojis shows a dreadful lack of awareness and understanding. This appalling industry-wide practice must end.”