Bright Sparks Recruitment job ad not misleading, finds ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority has not upheld a complaint made against an advert posted by graduate recruiter Bright Sparks Recruitment on Reed.co.uk.

The ad in question, seen in November 2016, was headed “GRADUATE SCHEME - MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY - FULL TIME”. Further below the listing text stated “ROLE OVERVIEW This is a 2 year graduate training scheme that will involve a number of placements, training activities and development…£28,000 basic with a component based on company performance …”.

The complainant, upon contacting Bright Sparks, was advised to attend an assessment day in London but when they went along they was told about another job at a reduced salary rather than the advertised job. The complainant subsequently challenged whether the ad was misleading.

In its defence, Bright Sparks claimed:

• the job listing was genuine
• that the complainant undertook a phone interview based on their application to the Oxford role and was subsequently invited to attend an assessment centre day at their London offices
• that assessment centre days could be bespoke, if one particular client was looking for a number of graduates, or general where several or perhaps no clients were present and candidates in attendance had applied for a mixture of roles that the day the complainant attended was a general one and candidates in attendance were given a general introduction to graduate roles offered, which was why jobs in a lower pay bracket were mentioned.

Bright Sparks also provided evidence to support these claims. Consequently, the ASA said the ad was not misleading ruling that:

• consumers would interpret the ad as advertising an available job
• that the evidence produced by Bright Sparks showed that the ad related to a genuine vacancy
• that they were satisfied with the advertiser’s explanation of their recruitment process and that, although the assessment centre day related to more than one job, it included the advertised position. 

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