HC Deb 18 November 1964 vol 702 cc412-3
6. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will give a general direction to the British Overseas Airways Corporation to improve the moral standard of its trading advertisements; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

No, Sir. The advertising policy of B.O.A.C. is a matter for its own managerial discretion; and, in any event, I have seen no recent B.O.A.C. advertisement, including the one of which my hon. Friend was good enough to send me a copy, to which I would wish to take exception.

Mr. Dempsey

Does not my right hon. Friend think that sexy advertising is a very poor substitute for an efficient and competitive publicly-owned service? Would not he agree that if this money were wed to cut fares that would be a more effective fashion of attracting trade to B.O.A.C.?

Mr. Jenkins

This particular advertisement was used between 14th September and 27th October of this year and was subsequently given a good deal of publicity by my hon. Friend, although no complaints, other than that from him, were received. I am perfectly sure, particularly bearing in mind the difficulty of getting agreement even between my hon. Friend and myself as to what is or what is not a good advertisement, that it is no part of my duty to try to censor B.O.A.C.'s activities in this respect.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Will the Minister nevertheless keep an eye on the advertising of the Corporation, bearing in mind the fact that earlier this year it spent more than£1 million on saying what a wonderful aircraft the VC 10 was, and then proceeded to halve the order?

Mr. Jenkins

I hope, having had the opportunity last weekend of taking a flight in a VC 10, that it, aided by B.O.A.C.'s advertising campaign and other means, will have a very important future.

Mr. William Hamilton

Can my right hon. Friend give me the name and address of the young lady shown in the advertisement?

Mr. Jenkins

I do not think that that, either, comes within the terms of my new duties.