By Melanie Swan
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in Britain has banned an advert in Virgin Holidays' worldwide brochure for Dolphin Bay Atlantis after it found the claims, suggesting the dolphins had been rescued from the wild and rehabilitated before being set free again, to be misleading.
The ASA adjudication said: "We considered that the resort was, in a manner of speaking, a rescue and rehabilitation facility for marine animals, in that it had the necessary equipment, expertise and licence for this kind of activity. We also noted that, to date, the resort had not rescued or rehabilitated any animals.
"We considered that, without further clarification, the average consumer would infer from the claim, 'Dubai's first and only marine animal rescue and rehabilitation facility' that the animals at the resort had been rescued and were being rehabilitated with a view to release, where appropriate. Because we understood that this was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading."
The advert stated that "Dolphin Bay is a state-of-the art four-and-a-half hectare lagoon facility featuring three interaction coves complete with sandy beaches. Guests are able to choose from 3 unique experiences suitable for different ages and swimming capabilities ... An unbelievable experience, that is fun, educational and conservation-minded at the same time."
According to the ASA, a letter submitted from Atlantis to Virgin Holidays stated that the dolphins came from an existing facility, the Solomon Islands Marine Mammal Education Centre. More....