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Dublin: 15°C Tuesday 19 October 2021

'Better Teachers, Better Results': Complaints about Dublin private school ad upheld by ASAI

22 complaints were issued about the advertising which appeared on buses and in the press.

The exterior of The Institute of Education in Dublin.
The exterior of The Institute of Education in Dublin.
Image: Google Street View

OVER 20 COMPLAINTS about an advertisement from a school claiming to have “better teachers, better results” have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI). 

The ad was placed on the side of buses and in the press by The Institute of Education in Dublin, one of the largest private secondary schools in the country. 

It features an image of students holding their exam results accompanying the statement: “Better Teachers, Better Results!”

The ad congratulates the class of 2019 and says the image features some of the 130 students from the school who received more than 550 points in their Leaving Certificate this year. 

22 complaints were issued about this advertising campaign to the ASAI. 

A number of issues were raised by the complainants, including that the statements about better teachers and better results were not substantiated and therefore misleading. 

Those who complained said any better results or better standard of teaching at the school could be due to a number of factors, including the socio-economic status of students attending a fee-paying school.

The school costs €7,950 for a full-time 6th year if paid in full before the academic year, or €8,250 if paid through monthly direct debit.  

Other complaints said that because the school has a minimum-grade requirement for students to get in, pupils were already academically driven and their results could not be directly compared to other secondary school students. 

11 of the 22 complaints considered the claims made in the ad to be offensive. 

Responding to the complaints, the school stated that the intention of the campaign was not meant to upset, offend or mislead anyone. 

They added that the campaign did not draw a direct or indirect comparison to teachers in other school nor did they imply that their teachers were the best. 

The complaints committee of the ASAI said the claims made on the ads were comparative claims. 

Although a specific competitor was not identified, the ad could still be considered a comparison with all competition within the industry. 

The committee said that the advertising can’t appear again in its current form. It told the advertisers not to use comparative claims without proof. 

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