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Purplebricks and other agencies resolve complaints to advertising watchdog

Four estate agencies including online player Purplebricks have resolved complaints submitted to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Every week the ASA publishes a list of cases where the authority takes a formal decision to accept or reject a complaint; these four agencies appear on a separate list of cases that have already been, in the words of the authority, “informally resolved.”

The disputes involved New Broom Ltd trading as Purplebricks, the Currell Group Ltd which operates London independent agency Currell Estate Agents, and Online Property Sales which operates eMove (not the agency known as eMoov). Also informally resolved was a dispute involving Progressive Property Ventures trading as Peterborough Home Buyers.

Informal resolution of these cases usually involves a discussion between the ASA and the company about the nature of the complaint, and a voluntary agreement by the company to amend wording or accept that it would not continue to use the disputed wording.

With the Currell Group a complainant challenged whether an ad for a property that featured images of locations in Hampstead was misleading because all the images used in the ad were from the Hampstead Heath area as opposed to Childs Hill. The ASA approached the advertiser with the concerns that had been raised and it removed the webpage. 

For New Broom Ltd/Purplebricks, two complainants challenged whether the VAT-exclusive price claims on the advertiser’s website were misleading. The advertiser agreed to amend the ad and change all of the pricing on its website to be inclusive of VAT.

In the case of Online Property Moves/Emove, the rival agency eMoov Ltd challenged whether the claims “OVER 10,000 HOMES SOLD”; “£42,750,000 SAVED IN FEES” and “20 DAYS ON AVERAGE TO SELL were misleading and could be substantiated. The advertiser provided an assurance to the ASA that it would amend the ad.

And on Progressive Property Ventures, a complainant challenged whether a flyer which included claims written in a hand-written style, was misleading as to the nature of the communication and the identity of the marketer. The advertiser agreed not to use the ad and that creative approach in future.

There was also a fifth informally-resolved complaint in the ASA’s ‘Property’ category this week, concerning the content of a text message from Taylor Wimpey house builders.

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