High number of complaints over bus ad for private second-level grinds school

High number of complaints over bus ad for private second-level grinds school

More than 20 complaints about an ad for a private second-level grinds school, that claims to have ‘better teachers, better results’ have been lodged with the advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) received a high number of complaints relating to an ad for the Institute of Education that appeared on Dublin Bus earlier this month.

Most complaints include concerns about the wording used by the school, a spokesperson for the ASAI confirmed: “In light of the number of complaints that have already been received it is not necessary for further complaints to be submitted at this time.”

Among those who initiated a complaint about the advertisement is Pat McKenna, the principal of Pobalscoil Neasáin, a community school in Dublin: “I lodged a formal complaint due to the nature of the claim."

Mr McKenna said that 'Better teachers, better results’ implies that the school has better teachers which is unproven:

That is against advertising standards. You cannot put factually incorrect information on an ad. I believe there are very good teachers, working in very good schools and we also have very good teachers who are working in challenging environments.

When contacted by the Irish Examiner, the Institute of Education declined to comment as it is currently responding to the ASAI.

On its website, the school says it has built its reputation on the quality of its teachers: "We recruit the very best teaching talent in the country- teachers who are experienced, focused and professional and who consistently achieve excellent results for their students. Our teachers are enthusiastic about teaching. They have a wealth of experience in preparing students for the Leaving Certificate exams and are dedicated to helping their students achieve their full potential."

The ASAI accepts complaints from any person or body who considers that a marketing communication may be in breach of the advertising industry's self-regulating code.

Complaints received by the body are initially evaluated by its secretariat to see if it can be investigated within the ASAI terms of reference.

Marketing communications found to have contravened the rules of the industry's code are required to be amended or withdrawn.

The ASAI regularly publishes its findings following investigations of advertisements found to have breached its code.

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