The most common complaints about recruitment ads – particularly in the sales sector – are that a job isn’t as described or the earnings are exaggerated. Don’t give your company a bad reputation by making misleading claims – a bit of creativity can leave you with an ad that’s honest and brings in the right kind of applicant.

Here are some top tips on how to ensure your recruitment ad sticks to the rules:

  • Make sure you don’t misrepresent the tasks employees have to carry out. The ASA has upheld complaints about ads that described direct sales jobs as “activating new accounts" or “maximising the market share for the client”, or just avoided mentioning this aspect of the job entirely.
  • You don’t necessarily have to use phrases like “door-to-door sales” or “cold calling”. Descriptions such as “Selling products within assigned territory” and “Giving sales presentations and proposals to customers” can be used to make clear the role is sales based.
  • If the role is commission only, it needs to be explicitly stated. References to “OTE” (on target earnings) or vague allusions to “excellent earning potential” won’t cut it.
  • While it’s important to keep your facts straight, it’s fine to use some positive opinions. Think it’s a fun working environment? A good job for a people person? Feel free to say so.
  • Section 20 of the Code contains specific rules relating to employment, homework schemes and business opportunities. There’s also a range of online guidance - just search our AdviceOnline articles for “recruitment”. And if you’re still unsure, give the Copy Advice team a call on 020 7492 2100, or submit an enquiry using our web form.

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