An online classified ad posted by Home of Dissertations, an essay writing service, seen on 23 February 2023, with the subject line “Essay/Assignment/Dissertation/Proposal/Thesis Writing/Expert Writers Tutor/Proofread Law Coursework” stated that they were based in West End, Edinburgh. At the top of the listing was a photograph of a man wearing a shirt and tie.
Home of Dissertations’ contact details and text in the main body of the ad stated: “OUR CONSULTANTS CAN HELP YOU TO IMPROVE YOUR GRADES. There are several agencies which provide dissertation consulting services to the students [sic]. However, we provide in-depth consulting on every dissertation project along with dissertation improvement for higher grades … In every academic session, we deliver thousands of dissertation consulting of academic projects for students across the globe [sic] … We provide high-quality services at competitive rates through which millions of students have achieved higher grades that helped them to kick start their professional life. Our service bouquet includes dissertation consulting services … formatting and proofreading”. A list of services offered “Dissertation Consulting”, “Ph. D Thesis Consulting”, and “Dissertation writing”. Beneath “Guarantee”, claims included “100% non-plagiarized work”, “Desired standard of paper according to your requirement”, “To meet the deadline”, “Complete ownership of the paper once received”, “Extreme Confidentiality of your personal information”, “Free revisions (in case of any discrepancy) until the customer is completely satisfied with the work”, and “All sources used in the paper will be properly cited, using the format that you may require”.
Text at the foot of the listing stated, “Disclaimer: All services provided by ‘Home of Dissertations’ is for research purposes and are not intended to be presented as final work [sic]”.
The ASA challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that students could submit an essay they had bought as their own.
Home of Dissertations agreed to amend any problematic claims in their advertising.
The listing included claims such as “OUR CONSULTANTS CAN HELP YOU TO IMPROVE YOUR GRADES “, “we provide in-depth consulting on every dissertation project along with dissertation improvement for higher grades”, “100% non-plagiarized work”, “Desired standard of paper according to your requirement”, and listed “Dissertation Consulting”, “Dissertation writing” and “Ph.D Thesis Consulting” as services offered.
We considered the overall impression of the ad was that students at Scottish institutions who used Home of Dissertations’ service could submit an essay they had bought as their own, particularly because the essay would be plagiarism-free, and written to the standard required by the consumer.Text at the bottom of the listing stated “Disclaimer: All services provided by ‘Home of Dissertations’ is for research purposes and are not intended to be presented as final work [sic]”. Contact details for the advertiser, as well as a ‘button’ that consumers could use to email them, appeared at the top of the listing. We considered consumers would have only been aware of the disclaimer if they scrolled to the bottom of the listing and read the full page of text, which was not necessary in order to contact the advertiser about the advertised service. It was, therefore, insufficiently prominent. We also considered the information provided was insufficient to counteract the overall misleading impression given by the ad that consumers would be able to submit purchased essays as their own without risk.
While we welcomed Home of Dissertations' willingness to amend the ad, for the reasons given above we concluded that it had breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising), and 3.9 (Qualification).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Home of Dissertations to ensure that their advertising did not imply that students who used their service could submit an essay they had bought as their own without risk.