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February 25, 2010

Adverts for architects’ register ‘misleading’

An advertising campaign promoting a new register of architects has been deemed misleading after the broadcasting watchdog found it implied that “unqualified” architects could not be trusted.

The register was launched last November by the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI) and the Department of the Environment. Since then, only people who are on the register are entitled to use the title “architect”.

The RIAI ran radio advertisements promoting the register, which asked listeners whether they would trust an unqualified surgeon or dentist, adding: “So why trust an unqualified architect?”

The advertisements prompted complaints to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) by the Architects’ Alliance, representing people who have been providing architectural services but who do not have formal qualifications in architecture. It claimed the ads created a false link between being qualified and being on the register. Another complainant, Tom O’Grady, said he had lost two clients because of the “misleading” content in the advertisements.

The Irish Times