An email from a recruitment agency sent on 20 February 2018 featured text in the subject header that stated “Job Application Request”.
In the main body of the email was further text that stated “Hi … It's been a while since we last connected so I hope you have been keeping well. The job below has just come in and matches the skills and experience of the latest CV we have on file for you. If it's something you are interested in please click the job title to apply directly through the website … Trainee Software Developer”. Below that was further text that stated “If you are no longer in the market for jobs like this please either send me your latest CV and I will update my records, or click this link and update your preferences directly … If you are no longer in the market for any jobs please feel free to unsubscribe from any future emails …”.
The complainant, who understood that the advertiser was marketing a training course offered by a third-party company and not an actual job, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
Aston James Consulting Ltd did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Aston James Consulting’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future.
We understood that the complainant believed that the email was not advertising a job vacancy, but a training course being offered by a third-party company which consumers had to pay for.
We noted that the subject header of the email featured the text “Job Application Request” and that the main body of the email stated, “The job below has just come in and matches the skills and experience of the latest CV we have on file for you. If it's something you are interested in please click the job title to apply directly through the website … Trainee Software Developer”, “If you are no longer in the market for jobs like this please either send me your latest CV and I will update my records” and “If you are no longer in the market for any jobs please feel free to unsubscribe from any future emails”. We considered that this suggested the email was advertising a job vacancy for a “Trainee Software Developer” role, but because we had not seen any documentary evidence to support that, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
(Misleading advertising) and
Employment marketing communications must relate to genuine vacancies and potential employees must not be asked to pay for information.
Living and working conditions must not be misrepresented. Quoted earnings must be precise; if one has to be made, a forecast must not be unrepresentative. If income is earned from a basic salary and commission, commission only or in some other way, that must be made clear. (Employment, homework schemes and business opportunities).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Aston James Consulting Ltd to ensure that they did not mislead jobseekers by suggesting that they had found them job vacancies rather than training courses, unless that was the case and supported with adequate evidence. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.