Ads for The Workers Union banned for implying it was a trade union

The TUC complained that the ads for The Workers Union implied that the company was an official trade union, when it was in fact a company.

Josie Clarke
Wednesday 20 October 2021 00:01
The Workers Union website (ASA/PA)
The Workers Union website (ASA/PA)

Ads for an employment-related services company called The Workers Union have been banned for misleadingly implying it was a trade union.

The two ads for The Workers Union, seen in January, stated: “Every UK worker should have the right to access information, support and guidance. We work as hard as you do. Get instant help. Get us on your side.”

The company’s website featured a page reading: “A union such as The Workers Union is not just relevant today, but an essential part of any employee’s job security.

The Workers Union. (ASA/PA)

“Becoming a member with a minimal fee can get you several benefits. These include a network of experts to guide you in areas such as employment law, dispute management and industrial advancement to guide you through your career …”.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), which believed the ads implied that The Workers Union was an official trade union when it understood that was not the case, complained that the ads were misleading.

The Workers Union (TWU) explained that it was a limited company and commercial organisation that offered employment-related services to its members as individuals.

It pointed out that the ads did not include the word “trade” or the term “trade union”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers were likely to interpret the references to “Union” and “members” to mean TWU was a trade union providing information, support and guidance to its members.

The ASA said: “However, we understood that TWU were a commercial organisation offering employment-related services to their clients through external legal services firms and were not a trade union.”

It concluded that the ads “were likely to mislead consumers”.

It ruled that the ads must not appear again, adding: “We told The Workers Union to ensure that their ads did not imply that they were a trade union.”

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