Johnston Press jobs website ad banned by ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled the ad should have identified the regional publishing grou

The advertising watchdog upheld a complaint from the Modelling Information Service that challenged whether the ad breached the advertiser's code, because it did not make clear that was an employment agency.

The ad, which appeared in the local press, stated: " Launch of new Halifax focused jobs website. Evening Courier has today launched its very own job site, providing a fantastic new resource for job seekers and businesses in Halifax ..."

In its submission to the ASA, Johnston Press said HalifaxJobsToday did not operate as an employment agency and that it simply provided an online job board featuring ads on behalf of recruiters and employment agencies.

Despite this, the ASA said it understood an agency to be defined as an "organisation providing services, whether by the provision of information or otherwise, for the purpose of finding persons employment with employers".

Finding Johnston Press in breach of the advertisers' code, the ASA said it considered that by that definition HalifaxJobsToday was an employment agency and adverts for the service should reflect this.

"The ad must not appear again in its current form," the ASA ruled. "We told HalifaxJobsToday to ensure that they made clear (i.e. in the body copy of the ad) that they operated as an employment agency."

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No, David Cameron’s speech was not “left wing”

Come on, guys.

There is a strange journalistic phenomenon that occurs when a party leader makes a speech. It is a blend of groupthink, relief, utter certainty, and online backslapping. It happened particularly quickly after David Cameron’s speech to Tory party conference today. A few pundits decided that – because he mentioned, like, diversity and social mobility – this was a centre-left speech. A leftwing speech, even. Or at least a clear grab for the liberal centre ground. And so that’s what everyone now believes. The analysis is decided. The commentary is written. Thank God for that.

Really? It’s quite easy, even as one of those nasty, wicked Tories, to mention that you actually don’t much like racism, and point out that you’d quite like poor children to get jobs, without moving onto Labour's "territory". Which normal person is in favour of discriminating against someone on the basis of race, or blocking opportunity on the basis of class? Of course he’s against that. He’s a politician operating in a liberal democracy. And this isn’t Ukip conference.

Looking at the whole package, it was actually quite a rightwing speech. It was a paean to defence – championing drones, protecting Britain from the evils of the world, and getting all excited about “launching the biggest aircraft carriers in our history”.

It was a festival of flagwaving guff about the British “character”, a celebration of shoehorning our history chronologically onto the curriculum, looking towards a “Greater Britain”, asking for more “national pride”. There was even a Bake Off pun.

He also deployed the illiberal device of inculcating a divide-and-rule fear of the “shadow of extremism – hanging over every single one of us”, informing us that children in UK madrassas are having their “heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”, and saying Britain shouldn’t be “overwhelmed” with refugees, before quickly changing the subject to ousting Assad. How unashamedly centrist, of you, Mr Prime Minister.

Benefit cuts and a reduction of tax credits will mean the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for “equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome” will be just that – with the outcome pretty bleak for those who end up losing any opportunity that comes with state support. And his excitement about diversity in his cabinet rings a little hollow the day following a tubthumping anti-immigration speech from his Home Secretary.

If this year's Tory conference wins the party votes, it’ll be because of its conservative commitment – not lefty love bombing.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.