Ad description

A website for Collect My Debt,, seen on 28 July 2018, featured a page titled “Traveller and Squatter Evictions” with an image of caravans. Text on the page stated, “We can remove unwanted trespassers efficiently and effectively in most cases without any necessary solicitor instructions or court orders”. Further text on the page explained their eviction process and the advantages of using common law to remove trespassers. The bottom of the page featured three testimonials from customers who had used Collect My Debt to evict travellers from land.


The complainant, who believed that the ad targeted the traveller community, challenged whether the ad was offensive.


Collect My Debt said that they carefully selected the terminology used to describe their services. They said that the first two sections were taken directly from the Halsbury Law of England (encyclopaedia of the laws in England and Wales).

Collect My Debt said the following sections provided information to potential clients about the procedures followed by their Certificated Enforcement Agents and the Police. They said that they believed the terminology was acceptable and a fair explanation of their line of work.


Not upheld

The ASA noted that the ad was titled “Traveller and Squatter Evictions” and featured an image of caravans. The web page explained the laws on trespasser eviction with an emphasis on the eviction of travellers from private land. The bottom of the page also featured three customer testimonials which discussed their experiences of using Collect My Debt for the eviction of travellers.

We understood that the complainant was concerned that the ad encouraged an anti-traveller rhetoric by targeting the traveller community. However, we noted that the ad did not use negative or discriminatory language or tone in its description of the eviction service or its reference to travellers. The ad focused on the eviction of trespassers from land and we considered that, in that context, consumers would generally appreciate that the advertiser would need to reference the eviction of travellers as an example of the service they provided.

Whilst we acknowledged that the some may find the ad distasteful, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code  4.1 4.1 Marketing communications must not contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Particular care must be taken to avoid causing offence on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Compliance will be judged on the context, medium, audience, product and prevailing standards.
Marketing communications may be distasteful without necessarily breaching this rule. Marketers are urged to consider public sensitivities before using potentially offensive material.
The fact that a product is offensive to some people is not grounds for finding a marketing communication in breach of the Code.
 (Harm and offence), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.

CAP Code (Edition 12)


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