Irish ad ‘discriminates’ against unqualified architects
Regulators have banned an Irish advertising campaign aimed at encouraging the use of qualified architects
The radio commercials, funded by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), asked listeners if they would trust an unqualified surgeon or dentist, adding: ‘So why trust an unqualified architect?’
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) ruled the adverts were misleading because they implied architects who were not fully qualified were untrustworthy.
Irish state broadcaster RTE withdrew the commercials and issued an apology.
The decision followed complaints by the Architects’ Alliance, a body that represents unqualified people who provide architectural services.
Tom O’Grady, who lodged a complaint, claims he lost two clients because of the campaign, reports The Irish Times.
RIAI was promoting a new register launched with the Irish Department of the Environment that controls the use of the title ‘architect’.
John Graby, Director of RIAI thinks the decision reflects a ‘fundamental misunderstanding’ of the lawful register.
He said: ‘It is entirely legitimate to say that the public is entitled to trust a qualified architect on the register, and it does seem that in the considerations of the BAI this point has been missed.’
The ruling comes as the country’s architectural profession continues to be savaged by the economic downturn. Earlier this month it emerged almost two thirds of architects and architectural technicians in Ireland had been made redundant in the past two years.