e-Careers ad breached ASA code

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint made against a ‘PRINCE2’ course on online education and careers platform e-Careers.

Wed, 2 Nov 2016

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint made against a ‘PRINCE2’ course on online education and careers platform e-Careers.

The ASA revealed this morning the complaint relates to claims on e-Careers’ website www.e-careers.com, seen in July 2016.

The claims stated ‘GET PRINCE2® FOUNDATION & PRACTITIONER QUALIFICATION FROM HOME Complete Prince2® Package Prince2® Foundation Online Training Prince2® Practitioner Online Training Official Prince2® Foundation Exam Official Prince2® Practitioner Exam’ with text on a red background adding ‘Prince2® Foundation & Practitioner Training Limited Offer - Only £79’.

The complainant challenged whether the claim ‘Prince2® Foundation & Practitioner Training Limited Offer - Only £79’ was misleading as it was unclear that the offer only applied to course materials.

According to e-Careers, the ad was on their website for 48 hours before they realised that the offer was unclear, adding the offer was changed to read ‘Prince2® Foundation & Practitioner Package for just £65’. The company amended the claim ‘GET PRINCE2® FOUNDATION & PRACTITIONER QUALIFICATION FROM HOME’ to state ‘PRINCE2® FOUNDATION & PRACTITIONER TRAINING FOR JUST £65’ and also removed the claims ‘Official Prince2® Foundation Exam’ and ‘Official Prince2® Practitioner Exam’. They added text stating ‘Prince2® Official Exams are separate (special offers available)’.

While the ASA acknowledged the changes e-Careers subsequently made to the advertising, it nonetheless considered that when the ad first appeared, consumers would understand the claims ‘FOUNDATION & PRACTITIONER QUALIFICATION FROM HOME’ and ‘Complete Prince2® Package ... Foundation Exam ... Practitioner Exam’ to mean that the quoted price covered all costs associated with the course, including exams. 

In ASA’s view, because the ad gave the misleading impression that training and exams were included in the advertised offer price, which was not the case, the ASA ruled the ad breached the Code and must not appear again in that form. 

The ASA also told e-Careers that future ads should clearly explain what was included in the quoted price and whether exam costs were also included.

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