Falmouth University told to stop marketing as ‘UK’s No.1 Arts University’

Falmouth University has today been told to change its advertising due to concerns over misleading prospective students.  

Two complaints against the university’s marketing materials claiming the title of ‘UK’s No.1 Arts University’ were submitted to the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA judged that in the group of five universities identified by Falmouth University as ‘creative’, there was no evidence to suggest this was ranked as a separate category by any of the suggested university league tables, such as The Times and Sunday Times.

It was concluded that Falmouth University ‘had not substantiated the “number one” claims as it was likely to be understood by consumers’ and therefore must alter their marketing with the ruling in effect.

The Falmouth University 2018 prospectus states that Falmouth is the ‘highest ranked arts university’. The phrase has since been removed from the official website.

Robert Hillier, director of communications at Falmouth University said: “While we must accept the ruling, we are disappointed that the ASA made this decision.”

“We attributed our ‘number one arts university’ status to the Sunday Times league table and the body responsible for compiling the table wrote in our support during this investigation.”

Despite this decision, it appears that the ruling will not impact Falmouth University’s marketing going forward:

“It was a position decided by a respected league table not a claim we ever made independently.” says Hillier. “However, we have not used this phrase in our literature for some time, as it no longer reflects the courses we have on offer”

“Therefore this ruling does not have any impact on our current or future marketing and so there is no merit in an appeal.”