'Misleading advertising' case sent for trial

Magistrates sent the case to crown court for trial
Magistrates sent the case to crown court for trial

A Wigan business will face a judge and jury after being accused of false advertising.

Freestart PLC (trading as The Local Planning Handbook) faces eight allegations of engaging in advertising which is misleading, under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations Act of 2008.

The company operates as a website design, SEO and digital marketing firm, and is based at Andrew House in Lord Street, Wigan.

Prosecutors allege that Freestart falsely stated that it was ‘approved by Wigan Council’ and created a false impression that it was working alongside the local authority.

The company is also accused of falsely claiming that it was working in connection with the council’s Good Trader Scheme.

The firm has denied all of the charges, which are alleged to have taken place between September 15 and October 30, 2017.

Mark Gerrard, the company’s director, appeared as the sole representative for the firm at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, and pleaded not guilty on the company’s behalf.

Magistrates accepted jurisdiction of the case, but the firm elected to hold the case at crown court instead.

A trial is now scheduled to begin at Bolton Crown Court on the morning of September 10.