Travelocity gnome is cited for exaggerating hassles of Priceline

By Todd Wasserman on Wed Oct 20 2010

Bidding on a hotel via a service like Priceline can be a bit stressful, I suppose. But can it be likened to being put on a spinning wheel as people hurl knives at you? Or being in a tank with piranhas? Those were the analogies Travelocity used in recent ads, and according to industry watchdog the National Advertising Division, they were a bit of a stretch. The NAD suggested the commercials, which feature the company's gnome mascot suffering such indignities, "be modified to avoid overstating the difficulty of and stress associated with using Name Your Own Price and discontinue the depictions (the piranha tank and the knife thrower's wheel) that help convey the unsupported message." The NAD also took issue with an image of the gnome roasting on a spit. In response, Travelocity said, basically, chill out. The company "does not dispute the NAD's holding that using 'Name Your Own Price' is not as excruciatingly awful as being eaten by piranhas, being the target of a knife thrower, or being burned alive on a spit." Neverthleless, Travelocity agreed to pull the ads.



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