A Department for Education marketing campaign has been given the all-clear by the ad watchdogs despite a flood of complaints from teachers that it exaggerated the salaries on offer for the profession.
The ‘Get Into Teaching’ campaign, devised by FCB Inferno, featured a female teacher walking along a corridor who said, “What does a good teacher make these days?”
The ad then depicted a number of teachers who said the following: “They make the complex understandable and the mind-boggling magical”, “They make sense of matter and of what matters”, “They make the curious expand their horizons”, and “They make futures into reality”.
Finally a male teacher said: “And if you’re wondering what else a good teacher makes, it’s probably more than you think.” On-screen text then stated “£22k to £27k minimum starting salary”, “Up to £30k tax-free to train” and “Up to £65k as a great teacher”.
But 140 people challenged whether the claim “Up to £65k as a great teacher” misrepresented the potential salary on offer.
In response to an Advertising Standards Authority investigation, the DfE said the on-screen text made it clear that the figure should be understood as aspirational and referred to published statistics showing that in November 2014 there were 12,845 teachers earning £65,000 or more.
The ASA noted the ad depicted a number of teachers conducting lessons but it did not consider that viewers would infer the salary information represented a pay scale for classroom teachers only.
It found the campaign did not misrepresent teachers’ potential salaries and was therefore unlikely to mislead.
Clearing the ad, the ASA said: “We considered that viewers were likely to understand that the salary information represented a pay scale, from starting salary to an aspirational but achievable salary for ‘good’ or ‘great’ teachers, including those who had progressed to senior or leadership roles.”
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