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                                Meeting 8 April 2008

Complaint 08/070

               Complainant: J. Wood
               Advertisement: DBCT Management Ltd - NZ Job Expo

Complaint: The website advertisement for the NZ Job Expo, which took place on 8
and 9 December 2007 at the North Shore Events Centre, illustrated various
features. They included „Exhibitor information‟, „Visitor Information‟ and „Jobs at the

The „Exhibitor list‟ included an A-Z of 113 companies who exhibited at the NZ Job

The Complainant, J. Wood, said:

“...The Expo was 8/9 December.

The organisers told lies. They are a company called DBCT Management Ltd …
Who: nz job expo
Product: Job Expo

Complaint -
The advertising very clearly said there would be over 100 employers attending the
show. This was absolute rubbish. Nothing like that number attended. They
deliberately fooled us into thinking there were over 100 employers in attendance at
the show.

I paid my $15 to get in and I counted only about 35 to 40 proper employers. In fact
there were only 60 stands in total - half of which were not actually there to hire

The Complainant included a list of exhibitors “as claimed on their web site”.

“This is a Lie, plain and simple. NO WAY did these companies exhibit anything!

I think it's appalling that these companies think they can cheat the public in this way.”

The Chairman ruled that the following provision was relevant:

Code of Ethics

      Rule 2: Truthful Presentation - Advertisements should not contain any
      statement or visual presentation or create an overall impression which directly
      or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is misleading or
      deceptive, is likely to deceive or mislead the consumer, makes false and
      misleading representation, abuses the trust of the consumer or exploits his/her
      lack of experience or knowledge. (Obvious hyperbole, identifiable as such, is
      not considered to be misleading).

The Advertiser, DBCT Management Ltd, said:

“In response to the above mentioned complaint DBCT Management Ltd will outline
the nature of the NZ Job Expo, its marketing and how the stands at the expo were
The NZ Job Expo created a venue where a job seeker could come and talk to
employers and recruiters face to face about jobs available from around the nation
and also talk to education services and either sign up for courses or gather any
information needed. NZ Job Expo - your career and lifestyle solution is our tag line.
Regional Economic Development Agencies and councils such as: Enterprise
Northland, Ashburton District Council, Napier & Hastings Cities, Whakatane District
Council, Aoraki Development Trust, Destination Rotorua District Council, Eastern
Bay of Plenty Business, Otorohanga District Council, Waitomo District Council
shared or had an exhibition booth where they represented small and large
businesses who were looking for staff.
There were 114 different exhibitors at the NZ Job Expo over a total of 68 stands as
some businesses and regional development boards preferred to support each other
and their region by "sharing" a stand. Out of this number - 105 businesses were
looking to recruit staff by either having a representative from their own company or by
asking an economic development officer to recruit for them and represent them on
behalf of the roles they were seeking to fill.

To remonstrate: Every exhibitor published on the NZ Job Expo website and in the
Official Expo Guide was involved in the NZ Job Expo to recruit staff, to help with
education or to promote a job seeker service.
Natcoll Design School, Massey University, Ames Training, Extra Mile Training and
the University of Auckland Business School had exhibition booths for anyone wanting
to sign up for or discuss further training. Seek, Search4jobs and Gethunted were also
on exhibition booths to teach people how to make use of their services for job
seeking. Fairfax Media had an exhibition booth to promote the Career section of the
Sunday Star Times.
Two weeks prior to the NZ Job Expo all companies and education services that had a
presence at the expo were published on the NZ Job Expo website. The list of roles
and jobs that these companies had supplied to us was also published on the NZ Job
expo website.

To ensure that this was very clear to any person attending the NZ Job Expo looking
for a job, DBCT Management printed an "Official Expo Guide" which was a free
publication for all attendees to the NZ Job Expo. DBCT Management Ltd hired four
people to stand at the main entrances of the expo to hand this guide to every single
person who walked through the doors. The workers that handed out the "Official
Expo Guide" also explained to attendees that the exhibitor list was on page 10, the
seminar time table was on page 9 and gave a brief overview of how to use the guide.
The guide has an exhibitor list and clearly indicates which exhibition booth a
particular company or education service was on. It is up to job seekers to look at the
list and then go to the corresponding exhibition booth.
Added to this, DBCT Management provided a 12m wide booth inside the expo for
anyone to come and ask for help, direction or a description of "which stands" had
"which jobs available'. I myself, was behind this booth for the entirety of the weekend.
The booth was clearly marked as the NZ Job Expo booth and also had copies of the
Official Expo Guide for anyone to take. Inside the front lobby of the venue, DBCT
Management Ltd also set up another help desk with two staff for anyone to be able to
ask for direction or help.
The gentleman who complained that the NZ Job Expo only had 35 - 40 proper
employers and only had 60 stands must have either:
Not bothered to read the guide, not talked to the exhibitors on their stands, not seen
the 12 metre NZ Job Expo help stand within the venue and not seen the help desk at
the front doors of the venue. I myself helped hundreds of people who stopped by the
NZ Job Expo exhibition booth, even introducing job seekers to employers and as a
result of my personal help … now works for Accor Hotels and … works for Air New
Zealand. This is the type of friendly and professional help that the whole of the NZ
Job Expo team provided over the weekend. We would have been more than happy to
help this particular gentleman should he have asked any of us for help.

DBCT Management did not use an advertising agency however did conduct their
own advertising by placing ads in local newspapers, Fairfax media news papers,
Billboards, Seek website, Search4jobs website, Trademe website, My Job Space
website, HR magazine and IPENZ newsletter. The ads drove jobseekers to the NZ
Job Expo website where the exhibitor list was published and the list of jobs that the
exhibitors had provided to DBCT Management Ltd. These ads also drove job seekers
to the expo itself where upon arriving, as pointed out earlier in this document; a job
seeking attendee was given an Official Expo Guide clearly setting out exactly where
the particular employer was located within the expo venue.

Attached are some examples of advertising the DBCT Management Ltd placed for
the NZ Job Expo

     1.    An advertisement in the Sunday News, December 2, 2007

     2.    A bill board (the same as the other two) that was located on Newton St,

     3.    A Seek job ad”


The Complaints Board perused the correspondence relevant to the complaint and
viewed the website advertisement. It noted Complainant J. Wood alleged that the
advertisement was misleading because although it stated that there would be over
100 employers attending the show, in reality there were only 35 to 40 and of those
not all were looking to employ.

The Chairman directed the Complaints Board to consider the complaint with regard
to Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics. In this respect the Complaints Board was required to
determine whether the advertisement contained any material which would, or was
likely to, mislead or deceive the consumer or exploit his/her lack of experience or

The Complaints Board referred to the Advertiser‟s submission. In particular, that
there were actually 114 different exhibitors on over 68 different stands. Further, that
of those exhibitors, 105 sought to recruit staff either through representatives from
their own organisations or through economic development officers appointed to
represent them. There were also several booths, one of which was clearly marked
“NZ Job Expo” and continuously staffed to assist attendees with any concerns or
queries about exhibitors or jobs. Accordingly, the Complaints Board was of the
opinion that the Expo organisers provided sufficient resources to satisfy the
concerns of those attending.

In addition, each attendee received, or should have received, a free “Official Expo
Guide” as he or she entered the Events Centre. At the same time, staff explained
how to use the guide and pointed out the exhibitor list and the seminar timetable.
The Complaints Board referred in particular to the exhibitors list and noted that each
exhibitor was identified by its stand number, its phone number and its website.

With this in mind, the Complaints Board concluded that the Advertiser provided
sufficient information to satisfy the claims made in the advertising and in addition
provided sufficient opportunity for attendees to satisfy any queries or concerns
associated with those claims.

Accordingly, the Complaints Board was satisfied that in this instance, and in this
respect, the Advertiser complied with the requirements of Rule 2 of the Code of

The Complaints Board ruled to not uphold the complaint.

Decision: Complaint Not Upheld