RYANAIR RAPPED FOR BROWN ADS - Ryanair and the UK's Advertising Watchdog have clashed over the airline's claims, used in recent advertising, that aviation contributes just 2% of global CO2 emissions and that the UK government has not lived up to a promise to invest £1 billion raised in air passenger duty on environmental projects.

Gordon Brown, then chancellor doubled Airport Passenger Duty to £10  in February.

On the back of that move Ryanair ran a 'Greedy Gordon' campaign of the type Irish politicians will familiar.

This morning though the UK's Advertising Standards Authority has told Ryanair that its advertising is misleading.

Its Director General, Christopher Graham, says Ryanair was having a go at 'greedy' Gordon Brown and his airport duty increase, and wrongly claimed it had nothing to do with the environment.

He says Ryanair's claim in the ads that aviation accounted for just 2% of harmful emissions is misleading as it is the UK figure of 5% that counts.

He says Ryanair claims that the money was not being spent on environmental projects does not hold up as there are ministerial statements in UK parliament that show some of the money is being spent on such projects.

He added that if the airline ran these ads again they would not get published in UK media.

Ryanair's head of communications, Peter Sherrard, says 'its a complete stitch up' and a cover up on a tax scam that will raise £1 billion.

He says the UN said the 2% emissions figure was confirmed by the UN, and a report showing that aviation accounted for just 1.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

He said Ryanair had not received answers on how the money is to be allocated.


News in brief - The investment company, One51 plc, has reported in its annual report operating profits of €9.7m for 2006 and expects this figure to double to €20m this year.

One51, which was previously called the IAWS Co-op, also gave a clear signal that a flotation is on the cards for early next year along with shares expected to begin trading in the grey market in the autumn.

One51 owns a quarter of NTR and has been acquiring companies in the recycling industry here and in the UK.

***Later today Enterprise Ireland will issue its annual report showing a 12% net growth in exports among the companies it helps.

Also today the ESB will issue its 2006 results with much focus on the possibility of higher ESB bills for everyone as oil prices remain stubbornly high.

The board of the ESB is also likely to give its response to the Government White Paper recommending the break up of the company on competition grounds by placing the national grid under separate ownership.

The White Paper is now on the desk of new energy Minister Eamonn Ryan.  

*** On the currency markets it has never been better to buy dollars.

The euro is worth $1.38 this morning as the dollar falls dramatically against other currencies over concerns about the level of mortgage lending in the US to borrowers the industry deems are likely to default.

The euro is also worth 67.25 pence sterling.