Ad description

An ad posted by Bright Sparks Recruitment on for a role, seen in November 2016, was headed “GRADUATE SCHEME - MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY - FULL TIME”. Further below the listing text stated “ROLE OVERVIEW This is a 2 year graduate training scheme that will involve a number of placements, training activities and development…£28,000 basic with a component based on company performance …”.


The complainant, who contacted the advertiser and was advised to attend an assessment day in London and when they attended was told about another job at a reduced salary rather than the advertised job, challenged whether the ad was misleading.


Bright Sparks Recruitment Ltd t/a BrightSparks said the job listing was genuine and provided a client brief as evidence in support of this. They also explained that the complainant undertook a phone interview based on their application to the Oxford role and was subsequently invited to attend an Assessment Centre Day at their London offices. They provided documentary evidence in support of this invitation. They explained that Assessment Centre Days could be bespoke, if one particular client was looking for a number of graduates, or general where several or perhaps no clients were present and candidates in attendance had applied for a mixture of roles. They explained that the Assessment Centre Day that the complainant attended was a general one and the candidates in attendance were given a general introduction to graduate roles offered, which was why jobs in a lower pay bracket were mentioned. They believed they had demonstrated the role was genuine and that the ad was not misleading.


Not upheld

The ASA considered consumers would interpret the ad as advertising an available job. The evidence produced by BrightSparks showed that the ad related to a genuine vacancy. We were satisfied with the advertiser’s explanation of their recruitment process and that although the Assessment Centre Day related to more than one job it included the advertised position. We therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  (Misleading advertising),  3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation.  (Substantiation) and  20.2 20.2 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), but did not find the ad in breach.


No further action necessary.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

20.2     3.1     3.7    

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