A TV ad for MyBuilder.com, seen on 19 April 2019. The ad featured a woman speaking to camera, who stated, “Just post your job and you’ll get responses from local traders, screened by MyBuilder and reviewed by previous customers.”
The complainant, who understood that MyBuilder.com did not screen sole traders, challenged whether the claim “screened by MyBuilder” was misleading.
MyBuilder Ltd said they had extensive systems and policies in place to screen and vet tradespeople who applied to be listed on the platform, which involved several steps. Firstly, they took personal details and required traders to sign up to their terms and conditions. They also asked them to fill in a profile introduction including a business address and, for sole traders, they would require a trading name. They said all applicants were required to pass an evaluation in their chosen trades to be listed on the platform, which involved a semi-automated assessment. The assessments were developed in consultation with industry experts and was designed to mitigate the risk of cheating. The process also involved verification of the trader's identification, with processes in place to prevent banned tradespeople from re-applying. They also carried out background research to feel comfortable that the applicant would not pose a risk to job posters and that their business was suitable for their platform, including checking all trade applicants for insolvency and personal bankruptcy, with a specific check for sole traders and partnerships.
Clearcast said they had received confirmation when they approved the script for the ad that MyBuilder had a system in place whereby they approved sole traders prior to their being listed on the site.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the ad that MyBuilder had a screening process for all tradespeople on their website, including sole traders. We noted that MyBuilder did have a process in place that they followed for all traders on their website. The process was clear and had a number of steps designed to ensure traders were properly verified and had the relevant expertise. We understood that the complainant had been told in correspondence that MyBuilder had not checked company details for the trader’s profile. However, we understood that would have been because the process for sole traders rather than companies would have applied, meaning that relevant checks had been carried out. We considered that following that process would mean that the trader had been ‘screened’, as the ad stated. We considered that the process MyBuilder had in place was likely to match consumers’ expectations of the claim that local traders had been screened, and therefore concluded that the ad was not misleading. We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 3.1 and 3.2 (Misleading advertising), and 3.9 (Substantiation), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.