HOLIDAY giant Tui is being investigated over whether or not their holiday ads for Mexico are misleading potential customers.
The Advertising Standards Agency told Sun Online Travel that it has received six complaints about the travel firm’s adverts for holidays in the Riviera Maya area.
In a statement, the agency said: “We received six complaints about Tui holiday ads where complainants challenged whether the ads were misleading because they did not make clear that the beaches in the Riviera Maya area were periodically covered by sargassum seaweed, which meant that the beaches were not as described and could not be used for beach activities including water sports.
“We are formally investigating these ads and will publish our decision in due course.”
Sargassum seaweed is a problem that affects the tourist beaches along the east coast of the Americas – not just Tui resorts.
Cities all along the coast, from Miami down to Mexico, have suffered from the foul-smelling algae, which drifts in daily.
TOXIC BEACH A deadly seaweed invasion is turning the tourist beaches from Miami to Mexico into a brown mess
Apart from being an eye-sore, the seaweed becomes toxic and smelly once it’s on land.
When Sargassum decomposes, it produces hydrogen sulphide, which smells like rotten eggs.
In the air, it’s a caustic gas that can cause everything from breathing problems to skin rashes.
In the water, it’s extremely acidic and can be toxic for swimmers.
Those who have come into contact or into close proximity to the seaweed have also reported heart palpitations, vertigo, and headaches.
Many Brits travelling to the region for dream holidays were left stunned and furious when they realised that the pristine beaches they were expecting were covered in the algae.
Last year, a family spent £5,000 on a Caribbean trip only to discover the white sandy beaches they were expecting were covered by stinky seaweed.
While another family, who went to Mexico, saw their holiday similarly blighted by the algae.
Earlier this year, a Tui customer who had complained about seaweed at a Mexico resort was told they would not be due any compensation because it was a natural occurrence.
Europe is also suffering from a seaweed problem.
Earlier this year, an oyster farmer died in France after breathing in the toxic fumes from the rotting seaweed.
Sun Online Travel has contacted Tui for comment.