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ASA bans second essay mill from making misleading claims in their advertising

Date: November 7 - 2018

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against Thoughtbridge Consulting Ltd, trading as Essay Writing Service UK.

In the second case of its kind this year, the ASA has banned an essay mill company from misleadingly implying students could submit purchased essays as their own and guarantee a grade.

In March this year, the ASA upheld a similar complaint brought by QAA against UK Essays.

Thoughtbridge Consulting was challenged on claims it made to 'Get the grade you ordered', to be 'Plagiarism free' and that the 'The work you order will never be re-used or re-sold'. The ASA ruled that this misleadingly implied that consumers could hand the essay in as their own. It also found that a 'Grade guarantee' was misleading and unsubstantiated.

Critically, the ASA has examined the claims on Thoughbridge's website that its essays should only be used as 'model answers', and that submitting a purchased essay as the student's own work would constitute cheating.

The ASA found that this ‘disclaimer’ was 'insufficient to counteract the overall misleading impression given by the website that consumers would be able to submit purchased essays as their own without repercussions'.

Gareth Crossman leads QAA's campaign against essay cheat companies. He says:

'This ruling presents a significant challenge to every essay company thinking it can protect the unscrupulous nature of its business behind these kinds of disclaimers.'

'We will continue to campaign for academic integrity, supporting students and higher education providers in identifying and tackling cheating. This complaint helps spread the message that cheating, in any form, is unacceptable.'