An advert from an essay writing website claiming to provide content “free from plagiarism” for Scottish students has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.
EssayMills included a page online entitled “Scotland’s Assignment Help Led by Former Professors” which the ASA ruled to be “misleading”.
It was determined that the ad implied students who bought essays to pass-off as their own work would face no consequences for using the service, despite many institutions imposing academic sanctions, including expulsion, for those caught for plagiarism.
The ad included claims the service could “help you climb the ladder of success” with the title “Renowned Assignment Writing Services in Scotland Assuring Plagiarism-Free Papers” and stated: “Only one thing our assignment help services are unknown with [sic], is ‘plagiarism’”.
The company tried to appeal to students by stating: “You no longer have to sacrifice your sleep or miss the exciting weekend plans just because you [sic] got to work on some tiring assignments! Let our experts take charge of it so you can take rest. With our assignment writing help, plagiarism-free papers are no more a dream for you.”
However, the ASA noted that the ad made no reference to any of the risks which may come from using the service.
The body stated: “We considered the overall impression of the ad was that students at Scottish institutions could purchase an original essay from EssayMills and submit it as their own work without risk, particularly because the essay would be plagiarism-free.
“We understood that students who committed plagiarism could face academic disciplinary measures, including expulsion from their institution. However, the ad made no reference to the risks involved in consumers purchasing work from EssayMills and submitting it as their own.
“We considered that was material information that was likely to affect consumers’ understanding of the ad’s overall message and their decision to use the service.
“Because we considered the ad suggested students could purchase and submit essays as their own without risk of repercussions when that was not the case, we concluded it was misleading.”
The ASA concluded that the ad must not appear again and the company have been warned to ensure in future that “their advertising did not imply that students who used their service could submit an essay they had bought as their own without risk”.
The matter has also been referred to CAP’s Compliance team.
Both EssayMills, and parent company Brilliant Minds Ltd, have been contacted by STV News for comment.