Author Topic: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading  (Read 975 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« on: November 06, 2019, 10:31:43 AM »
Also mentioned in The Tory Book of Lies, but felt this might deserve its own thread.

Quote
A series of government advertisements claiming to debunk myths about universal credit has been banned for misleading the public.

The Advertising Standards Agency received 44 complaints about six newspaper adverts and a web page.

The adverts included claims people moved into work faster on universal credit, which "did not accurately reflect the evidence", the ASA said...

ther adverts claimed:

"Myth: you have to wait five weeks to get any money on universal credit. Fact: if you need money, your job centre will urgently pay you an advance."
This again, the ASA concluded, was misleading, saying it was not always made clear enough in the adverts the advance was a loan to be repaid within 12 months, or that the advance payments were not necessarily available immediately.

...And others said:

"Myth: universal credit doesn't work. Fact: it does. People move into work faster on universal credit than they did on the old system."
The ASA said it considered that readers would interpret the wording "move into work faster" to refer to secure ongoing employment, but in fact the 2017 study the claim was based on had included "people who had worked for only a few hours on one occasion during the relevant period"...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-50304322

The DWO ads ran in the Metro (that paper which a lot of bus companies now put in the luggage racks therefore reducing the space for people to put their luggage, and it also slows getting off or getting on when people dither about whether to take a paper or not. My advice is not to take a copy).

Quote
...They almost got away with it too – but, tipped off by the Guardian’s reporting, others began an extraordinary fightback. MPs fired questions at Amber Rudd, then the DWP’s secretary of state, while disability activists turned up at train stations, from Swindon to Stoke, and emptied their stands of Metros – with the support of the RMT union. A number were bulk-delivered to Rudd’s offices in Westminster. Other groups, including anti-poverty charities such as Z2K, formally complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the government was misleading the public. The watchdog was blitzed with 44 complaints (the average for a case is between one and five), and has been investigating the claims since early June. This morning it publishes its findings – and they make quite the starter pistol for the general election...

The DWP’s own filings show that £225,000 was paid to the Metro to run ads now declared “misleading”, “unsubstantiated” and “exaggerated”. Almost a quarter of million pounds was taken off us to lie to us...

...Approached for comment, the DWP has not offered even an apology to the public, merely saying it is “disappointed with this decision”. It further claims that “we consulted at length with the ASA as we created the adverts”. I asked the obvious follow-up: how then do you explain the fact that you’ve breached so many of its guidelines? There was no response. Nor was there any response on whether the DWP is running any more ad campaigns on UC, as several sources both in and out of Westminster have claimed to me...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/06/government-universal-credit-deception-asa-taxpayer-funded-features

Good for the RMT for standing in solidarity with disability activists.

Re the Metro

Quote
Metro is owned by Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT), part of the same media group as the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, but in some areas Metro operates as a franchise with a local newspaper publisher, rather than as a wholly owned concern...

The paper has been condemened by the NUJ and PCS for publishing the DWP ads

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 10:39:15 AM »
I flagged this up to the Guardian and Private Eye about 2 years ago. the DWP gave me the brush off

I've been spamming everywhere that these advances are a con

Nice to see something finally happen about the misleading ads...  the front of the Jobcentre says MAKING WORK PAY. Yeah, cause you don't.

Buelligan

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 11:03:57 AM »
Very glad people are pushing back.  There seems to be far too much public money being spent on propaganda for the tory party.  And that, in a time of Austerity.

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 12:00:57 PM »
If you have a Job Centre near you walk past and look at what they advertise in the window...

(My local one now has security guards who ask you why you're there)

Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 12:09:27 PM »
Dont you dare bring a hot drink up there, they will treat it like a bomb.

Buelligan

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2019, 12:11:51 PM »
How would they react to the introduction of a Cup of Abominations?  Obviously explain to the manager first by email that it's only a biblical toy.  Let them know when you're planning to come in.

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2019, 12:27:06 PM »
Quote
The DWP boasted that “people move into work faster on Universal Credit than they did on the old system”. After poring over the statistics, the ASA has found this claim “did not reflect the evidence … had not been substantiated and was therefore misleading”.

“If you need money,” readers were assured, “your Jobcentre will urgently pay you an advance.” In its ruling, the ASA takes the government to task for not making it clear that this is only a loan and that the vast majority of claimants will have to wait five weeks for their first UC payment.

Finally, the adverts’ claim that “your Jobcentre can pay rent directly to landlords” was again found to be misleading because it only applies to a small number of claimants.

..

Approached for comment, the DWP has not offered even an apology to the public, merely saying it is “disappointed with this decision”. It further claims that “we consulted at length with the ASA as we created the adverts”. I asked the obvious follow-up: how then do you explain the fact that you’ve breached so many of its guidelines? There was no response. Nor was there any response on whether the DWP is running any more ad campaigns on UC, as several sources both in and out of Westminster have claimed to me.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/06/government-universal-credit-deception-asa-taxpayer-funded-features

Blumf

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2019, 12:30:45 PM »
Does the advance loan at least come with a zero-rate?

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2019, 01:48:27 PM »
Does the advance loan at least come with a zero-rate?

You don't pay interest but they can refuse or for a ton of reasons like suspecting you have savings or live with family and there's a special decision to defer repayment for three months otherwise it starts coming out your paymenta immediately

So, if you borrow 100 and your usual pay is 200 quid a month (which my mate is on), you'll be paid less than 200 a month as they'll deduct part of what you owe.

And its only available once before your first payment

Meaning if you borrow 100 to get through the 5 to 6 week average wait, you'll still struggle as you won't be getting the full payment while your advance repayment is outstanding

So it's not an advance. Its a loan of your OWN money. And all it does is basically shuffle around the issue, you don't get any MORE money and the money is shit.

In short, you're advanced a portion of your own money which guarantees you'll be on less for longer.

Plus the advance itself totally disproves the lie they 6 week wait is because they have no money! Why can't they start it earlier and just sort it out internally? Same reason you have to show two forms of ID every single time you enter the building - fuck the poor make em jump through hoops.

Paul Calf

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2019, 01:50:46 PM »
200 a month.

wat.

Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2019, 01:53:14 PM »
I've been out of work since June and 300 a month is piss easy to live on.


NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2019, 01:56:55 PM »
^ don't care. Just because it works for you doesn't make it possible for everyone. I didn't go on TV to decry how hard it was for me because it was secretly boss. They didn't pay me for six months. Just cause you coped doesn't stop that hurting, and doesn't end my paranoia that just because I'm personally safe now I'm working it's still fucking people over

It MUST work for everyone, that is the entire point of a benefits system.

200 a month.

wat.

My mate gets 233 a month and they don't cover all his rent. He has one bedroom in a house share in Toxteth.. So not living exorbitantly, unless he's secretly lavish when I'm not kipping on his couch after buying his drinks all night
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 02:08:42 PM by NJ Uncut »

Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2019, 02:17:25 PM »
I was joking...

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2019, 02:20:28 PM »
When you consider how much utility bills cost per month (not covered by benefits) and how much food costs (not covered by benefits), I don't know how people manage on £300 a month.

You don't get refunded for your bus/train ticket to the Jobcentre, so that another £8 or so a month, or more if you have to sign on weekly.

Then there's stuff like binbags, toothpaste, toilet roll, kitchen roll...stuff that you need to have a basic standard of living.

And when you consider that not all people get all of their rent covered, as NJ Uncut says.

kngen

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2019, 02:21:32 PM »
You don't pay interest but they can refuse or for a ton of reasons like suspecting you have savings or live with family and there's a special decision to defer repayment for three months otherwise it starts coming out your paymenta immediately

So, if you borrow 100 and your usual pay is 200 quid a month (which my mate is on), you'll be paid less than 200 a month as they'll deduct part of what you owe.

And its only available once before your first payment

Meaning if you borrow 100 to get through the 5 to 6 week average wait, you'll still struggle as you won't be getting the full payment while your advance repayment is outstanding

So it's not an advance. Its a loan of your OWN money. And all it does is basically shuffle around the issue, you don't get any MORE money and the money is shit.

In short, you're advanced a portion of your own money which guarantees you'll be on less for longer.

Plus the advance itself totally disproves the lie they 6 week wait is because they have no money! Why can't they start it earlier and just sort it out internally? Same reason you have to show two forms of ID every single time you enter the building - fuck the poor make em jump through hoops.

Back in the old days of giros and crisis loans, my flatmate had his giro nicked and had to get a crisis loan (a fucking nightmare in itself), which they then docked off his giro. And kept on docking well after he paid the loan back. Did he get that overcharge returned? Did he bollocks. It's amazing to think that they've found a way to make the system even more cunty. Cunts.

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2019, 02:22:29 PM »
I was joking...

Didn't see it obvs. Well good. This is my berserk button though. Soz

Christ, this is yet another thread about Tory lies isn't it?

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2019, 02:31:04 PM »
When you consider how much utility bills cost per month (not covered by benefits) and how much food costs (not covered by benefits), I don't know how people manage on £300 a month.

One part I found a bit under reported is they almost require you to have internet access at home.

Oh the sad occasions I saw someone who didn't in the Job Centre they were treated like idiots, but consider ye this:

- your agreement says you will log into their portal every day to report your job seeking activities
- if you can't do this, you're welcome to go into the job centre to use their machines

So umm. Travel costs ahoy, and the bleakness of actually doing that, five days a week.

And if you don't do it? Sanctions. (Where they pay you less.. meaning they spend less)

... Just before my Big Oil life raft came along they sent me on some job finding course I walked out of as it was very basic. I wasn't being a snob - I was shocked how many over 40s with zero understanding of email, the Web, general tech were there. I know the Daily Mail crowd may think they're BENEFIT CHEATS but these are people I was going for lunch with at the Pound Bakery who had zero compulsion to pretend to a fellow doley who was if anything just as sceptical and dispirited. (Meanwhile, I was getting interviews at places like, for example, the Cabinet Office to do IT. I reasoned someone else needed my place more, but it's not about me for once)

But yes, a few of them had been sanctioned due to essentially not having the technical facilities to log on at home.

My own opinion is whoever dreamt that up assumed anybody unable to do it was simply faking in this day and age. Shame one of the sanctioned fellas I got chatty with was very dyslexic, hmm? I wouldn't say his issues finding work had anything to do with one of the most common accusations: will, or the lack thereof. In essence, he was sanctioned - punished - for a disability.

If so many slip through the cracks, are they not chasms?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 02:41:32 PM by NJ Uncut »

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2019, 02:36:47 PM »
When you consider how many libraries are closing and how hard it is to find a computer in the ones which aren't closed (I've tried several times and it's often a long wait), and how many people don't feel comfortable using a library computer to access such information, there really is no option for people who don't have internet at home (many of whom probably can't afford it) than to have to get the bus to the Job Centre every day.

I think part of the problem is that many Tory voters don't care because they don't think they'll ever be unemployed and don't realise how hard to find a job it is once someone becomes unemployed.

Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2019, 02:41:49 PM »
Didn't see it obvs. Well good. This is my berserk button though. Soz

Christ, this is yet another thread about Tory lies isn't it?


If anyone can independently live healthily on 310 quid a month then fuck knows.

Even if you wreck your body eating only a pack of asda smart price instant noodles every other day you still wont afford rent or utilities. If there are places with rent below 300 quid fuck me I wanna live there.

Buelligan

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2019, 02:52:19 PM »
When you consider how many libraries are closing and how hard it is to find a computer in the ones which aren't closed (I've tried several times and it's often a long wait), and how many people don't feel comfortable using a library computer to access such information, there really is no option for people who don't have internet at home (many of whom probably can't afford it) than to have to get the bus to the Job Centre every day.

I think part of the problem is that many Tory voters don't care because they don't think they'll ever be unemployed and don't realise how hard to find a job it is once someone becomes unemployed.

Yep, I was just going to mention, I'm one of the in-work poor and internet connection is a huge part of my monthly outgoings.  It isn't something I'd ever want to go without and I make sacrifices to afford it but I can completely understand how someone who isn't into using the net to begin with would think that cutting that expense was something they would need to do when the pennies get tight. 

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2019, 02:52:43 PM »

I think part of the problem is that many Tory voters don't care because they don't think they'll ever be unemployed and don't realise how hard to find a job it is once someone becomes unemployed.

Definitely. What have I learned? You're, largely, only as employable as the job you're in.

But Universal Credit is *not* just for the unemployed. That's a misnomer and something I've really struggled with (and probably a big reason why I'm so fucking gung ho about this - I can afford to be but I'm just one little dude) and for all the bellyaching I've done, I am simply not a parent, I don't have people depending on me, not unable to work, not disabled, not anything that would stop me working but more importantly not anything that would stop me being able to express my concerns, and being able to have a roof over my head, though boy, am I keen to remember none of this is a right.

So thinking "ah, it's only the unemployed" is one thing, but the entire point of UC is to draw a lot of different benefits together (not something in principle I find problematic, implementation is obviously the issue).... So anything you see or hear about Universal Credit being unfit for purpose actually potentially affects far more vulnerable, and to some I suppose I mean sympathetic, people.

And not to be macabre, but nobody is immune to life events, mental illness, physical illness. It's horrendously naive to think you'll never need, in some way, a safety net. But there are people out there with the vote who would not only get rid of the benefits system but also the NHS. It's unconscionable.

Buelligan

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2019, 02:57:03 PM »
And not to be macabre, but nobody is immune to life events, mental illness, physical illness. It's horrendously naive to think you'll never need, in some way, a safety net.

This is so true.  I remember, not that long ago, being in a situation (because of lack of correct documents) that I had no safety net at all.  I was just living in the most meagre way you can imagine.  Watching my tiny pot of money dwindle, losing weight I didn't have to lose, living cold in winter and no one I could ask for help.  It was frightening, I genuinely considered killing myself (didn't because I worried about my cats and my brother).  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2019, 03:03:57 PM »
I'd wish it on lots of cunts to be honest.

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2019, 03:48:17 PM »
This is so true.  I remember, not that long ago, being in a situation (because of lack of correct documents) that I had no safety net at all.  I was just living in the most meagre way you can imagine.  Watching my tiny pot of money dwindle, losing weight I didn't have to lose, living cold in winter and no one I could ask for help.  It was frightening, I genuinely considered killing myself (didn't because I worried about my cats and my brother).  I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Think I remember some o' that period from my first go around as New Jack; it seemed to mainly manifest in the Brexit thread(s) as a genuinely concerning bit of seemingly endless paperwork fuckuppery that seemed to put you genuinely at risk and came across as basically needless shit.. my memory right?

Just want to say I am glad you managed to get through it, especially now you're someone who says "fuck fear", who is a voice of reason I for one respect, and someone with genuine right-mindedness, even after such a chilling ordeal :)

Perfection is the enemy of good, isn't it; not sure I could live a 100% happy life again without feeling selfish or paranoid, so not going to naively say "I am glad everything turned out fine" as I doubt that's the reality for anyone; but here's to actually being better in some ways after wading through bullshit. Sometimes it really does make you stronger and you are an example of that IMO. Thanks for your continued presence, especially on important issues.

icehaven

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2019, 04:22:33 PM »
When you consider how many libraries are closing and how hard it is to find a computer in the ones which aren't closed (I've tried several times and it's often a long wait), and how many people don't feel comfortable using a library computer to access such information, there really is no option for people who don't have internet at home (many of whom probably can't afford it) than to have to get the bus to the Job Centre every day.


At the last public library I worked at we had to get in touch with the local job centre a few times because they were literally sending people to us who needed to use the jobmatch site or whatever it was called telling them the library staff would do it for them. The first couple of times we were a bit dubious as to whether they'd really been told this but when it kept happening it became obvious that it was. This included people who'd never used a computer in their lives so obviously didn't have the internet at home, now suddenly dependent on using a website to continue claiming the money they need to live, being told a load of shite by their helpful job centre staff who obviously just wanted to get them out of the door and become someone else's problem. We'd do what we could but we'd had no training using the site or anything and couldn't really be expected to sit with someone for the time it took to sign up for the whole thing and basically do it for them, and not all the library staff were necessarily that internet savvy either. It obviously wasn't the customer's faults but understandably they'd often get angry with us because they'd turned up at the library (as others have mentioned having had to pay transport costs etc.) having been given the impression this was a service we provided in connection with the job centre but there was nothing of the kind. Thankfully there now actually is, some Brum libraries do Verification which is something to do with benefit applications etc.

mojo filters

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2019, 09:08:11 PM »
Am I missing something obvious here, or does it not seem rather redundant to advertise to debunk myths and promote the efficacy of Universal Credit? It's not like there's any alternative in areas where it's been fully rolled out.

Was there some prominent news story about people not bothering to make claims, because it had acquired the reputation whereby the whole process was a bit too much of a kerfuffle?

NJ Uncut

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2019, 10:10:16 PM »
Am I missing something obvious here, or does it not seem rather redundant to advertise to debunk myths and promote the efficacy of Universal Credit? It's not like there's any alternative in areas where it's been fully rolled out.

Was there some prominent news story about people not bothering to make claims, because it had acquired the reputation whereby the whole process was a bit too much of a kerfuffle?

Yeah I don't truly understand why they advertised really. Like, posters up INSIDE the Job Centre... I'm already here, hellooooo? But who was the Metro aimed at, all I can come up with is extended election mode.

My opinion is basically it's because they want to project an image. Like they're in election mode about it... which suggests they might know it's a stinker.

A bit how like when you signed on, after you got past the security guard(s) and provided two forms of ID for someone who saw you twice a month for the last however many and thus recognises you by sight, they'd call you a "customer" even if they were sanctioning you. No - customers have a choice. But that's their image. Because, deep down, the Tories think you're perusing their "service", that you don't really need it.

In that sense it's the same as their Brexit stance. They've really never said what an unpalatable mess it is officially.

They're incapable of admitting fault.

And if you look at the costs... it's something like £3.5bn a year, it's like they haven't heard of the "sunk cost fallacy". Not a word of that. What do you expect from the Tories? Or politicians, if you must cast a wider net; but they're in power and it's their baby, so...

There have been tons of bad news stories - I think many people block it out, I'm not able to even imagine doing that personally  - and perhaps yes that played a part. But I see it as in-keeping with their false facades, not some aberrant misfire. They do it with everything.

Like being called a customer softened the blow when I sold the car my mother left me to pay for food when a ROGUE IT GLITCH deleted my claim. Oh! I'm a fucking customer! Esteem restored! Suck my dirty cock, you architects of personal misery

Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2019, 11:24:00 PM »
It is part of my job to help people with this stuff, and I can back NJ Uncut. It is a total fucking nightmare. Dealing with the benefits system has never exactly been a calming summer breeze, but fucking hell Universal Credit.

By definition, the people I see have someone to help them. God knows what is going on out there to people without access to any support.


Rev+

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Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2019, 10:30:24 PM »
The application process for UC is at least shorter and, if you're able to use a computer, easier than for other benefits.  My other half's PIP claim involved having to get the local MP to write to the DWP twice in order to get a form posted out, because you can't apply online.  Despite many disabled people having accessibility mods for computers, this particular benefit application has to have its 60-odd pages filled out by hand, which took me the best part of a day despite having working wrists.  You're also paying for the photocopying of the 300 pages of supporting documentation and posting the fucker, obviously.  Then you apply for the mandatory reconsideration after they fuck you off, then it's a brief 2 year wait until the tribunal, which you win easily, just like you won the one 4 years before you were re-assessed because genetic conditions don't get better.

Sorry, got sidetracked there.

If you were only claiming JSA before moving onto UC then it genuinely is easier to do occasional work and be better off once you're on it, in my experience.  Going onto it flayed me as I signed off JSA to do a six week contract and had to cover 3 months with the proceeds after it finished (the initial waiting time for UC being 8 weeks at that point).  Once on it, it was easier to work the odd shift for an agency that were giving me jack shit without screwing myself over.

However, and this is important, I had a fallow month in which I was offered no work at all, and that's when I got truly fucked.  UC is adjusted according to the information they receive from HMRC - they inform them of any income you've had in a particular month, and if it's not enough to get you to £317 it gets topped up.  HMRC only communicate with DWP if you've had some sort of income, if not they don't bother as there's nothing to report.  If you usually have a little bit coming in from work and it stops, the DWP classify your claim as 'unclear' and immediately stop any payments.  I found this out on the day the monthly payment was due to arrive, and it took a fortnight to get it re-activated.  Anyone on benefits knows how budgeting around the payment date works, so that was a lot of fun.

Sorry again, that was a bit of a ramble.

Re: ASA rules DWP Metro ads are misleading
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2019, 11:12:27 PM »
I had a run in today with someone I can loosely desribe as the worst person I have ever met in my life. My current job is working in sales and he came to me with his wife, his wife was fine. She was a Lawyer and he worked for The Home Office and seemed to froth at the mouth at the thought of deporting people. To cut a long story short, he told me he took 8 or 9 holiday a year and was going to retire at the age of 47. The thing that made him the worst human being I have ever met is that he had come in for a free holiday, he didn't need it. Yet he came anyway just to fuck up someones day and waste their time, my time. Unpromted  he started grilling my manger on who he was going to votefor, disparaging Labor and monologing about how great Boris Johnson is for 10 minutes. He was so boring and I geuninly felt sorry for his wife that had to live with him. He was rude to me, my manager, my managers manager and worst off all the Reception who isn;t even part of the same company as its a managed builidng.

It was apprent that he was in his own bubble as long as he had lots of money it didnt matter, fuck the disadvataged. This is what we are up against, these people are in the Social elite, running the Civil Service and that scares me.