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Trade Me Complaint Upheld By Advertising Board

Media Release

22 August 2008


Trade Me Complaint Upheld By Advertising Board

Trade Me has welcomed the decision of the Advertising Standards Complaints Board (ASCB) Panel to uphold its complaint against website www.myjobspace.co.nz for claims that it had over 110,000 visitors per month.

``On the internet, businesses compete for visitor eyeballs. To advertise inaccurate claims about visitors not only confuses the market it misleads consumers,’’ said head of Trade Me Jobs, Jimmy McGee.

My Job Space attempted to use sessions data rather than unique browsers to substantiate its claim. Given consumers would reasonably expect ‘visitors’ to represent unique people, the ASCB Panel found their claim misleading.

In the Panel’s view the meaning of the word visitor was simple - one person was one visitor. Therefore the Panel concluded that a visitor was the person or individual who visited (Unique Browser), not the visits themselves (Sessions).

``The ASCB decision gives the industry – especially employers and recruiters clarity about the online job market and real online behaviour.’’

The ASCB Panel agreed with Trade Me and concluded that the My Job Space advertisement was likely to mislead the consumer or exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge. In particular the My Job Space advertisement breached the Advertising Code of Ethics rule of truthful representation.

``We believe in integrity in the fight for eyeballs on the internet. Accurate use of terms and traffic claims are key to this integrity’’.

It’s normal for the losing party to meet the complainant’s ASCB costs of $4700. Trade Me plans to donate the funds received from the win to the Canterbury Charity Hospitals Trust.


ENDS

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