Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ASA Bans Teacher Recruitment Ad; It's Too Rosy

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned an ad suggesting that a new teacher could earn 34,000 pounds a year. Those who complained to the regulatory agency said that the actual likely salary was much lower, and that 34,000 pounds was only attainable if the teacher had years of experience.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) said the ad was designed to communicate that there was potential in teaching to progress and earn a competitive salary. They said the ad did not state that the quoted figure was a starting salary for newly qualified teachers (NQTs). TDA pointed out that they had created a separate print ad to promote the starting salary, the headline of which stated "Start on 20K and lead an energetic young team." TDA acknowledged that the teacher featured in the ad had a youthful appearance. They maintained, however, that they had not intended to imply that he was earning £34,000. ...TDA said the ad encouraged viewers to visit their website or to call the Teaching Information Line to find out more about the profession and the financial remuneration on offer. Clearcast said the information sent to them showed that 32% of teachers in London earned 34k or more whilst 45% of teachers in England, excluding London, earned 34k or more.

...The ASA understood the salary range for a teacher was £20,000 to £51,000 and that some could potentially earn £34,000 in their late twenties i.e. five years after they qualified.  However, we considered that the claim "You could earn £34 grand a year" in conjunction with the very youthful appearance of the teacher and "Turn your talent to teaching" suggested that £34,000 was the salary for young newly qualified teachers. Because it was not, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.

The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rule 5.1 (Misleading advertising).

...The ad should not be broadcast again in its current form.

Read the entire ruling here.

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