Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.
Rule 20.6 states the information that marketing communications for homework schemes should contain, including a clear description of the work, likely earnings, a statement about fees and charges and any other conditions that might influence a consumer’s decision to apply. Although it need not be in the initial ad, all that information must be available, without charge, before participants commit to the scheme.
Complaints about ads for homework schemes tend to focus on either ambiguous or unsubstantiated claims. Marketers may not make clear the nature of the work on offer, either by omitting the type of work that is involved or by being liberal with the truth. The ASA upheld complaints against one marketer who claimed “Data compilers & envelope fillers wanted” but did not make clear in either the initial ad or the follow-up material that homeworkers were expected to place advertisements in newspapers (Arrow Data Services, 22 October 2003). Another marketer claimed “Homeworkers wanted for assembling, craftwork, packaging … proofreading … typing … Part-time or full-time job offers guaranteed” but offered only a directory and information on potential homeworking opportunities (A Walton & Associates, 19 November 2003). Although it is acceptable to sell such directories, marketers must state plainly the nature of what is being offered (Rule 20.10).
Marketing communications for homework schemes must not make a forecast of earnings if the scheme is new. Established marketers may state the likely level of earnings only if it can be supported with evidence of the experience of existing homeworkers. In 2014, the ASA upheld a complaint about an ad that claimed “Earn up to £25 a day…from home By completing our online offers in your spare time”. It considered that the advertiser's method of calculating daily earnings (dividing total payment by the amount of time expected to complete the offers, and pro-rating this into a daily total) was insufficient grounds on which to base daily earnings claims (Submission Technology Ltd, 22 October 2014).