ASA: Johnston Press jobs website ad banned

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned an ad by Johnston Press after ruling that it should have identified the regional publishing group as an employment agency.

The advertising watchdog upheld a complaint from the Modelling Information Service that challenged whether the ad breached the advertiser’s code, because it did not make clear that halifaxjobstoday.co.uk was an employment agency.

The ad, which appeared in the local press, stated: ‘halifaxjobstoday.co.uk. Launch of new Halifax focused jobs website. Evening Courier has today launched its very own job site, providing a fantastic new resource for job seekers and businesses in Halifax …”

In its submission to the ASA, Johnston Press said HalifaxJobsToday did not operate as an employment agency and that it simply provided an online job board featuring ads on behalf of recruiters and employment agencies.

Despite this, the ASA said it understood an agency to be defined as an ‘organisation providing services, whether by the provision of information or otherwise, for the purpose of finding persons employment with employers”.

Finding Johnston Press in breach of the advertisers’ code, the ASA said it considered that by that definition HalifaxJobsToday was an employment agency and adverts for the service should reflect this.

‘The ad must not appear again in its current form,’the ASA ruled. ‘We told HalifaxJobsToday to ensure that they made clear (i.e. in the body copy of the ad) that they operated as an employment agency.”

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