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Is it 'legal' for estate agents to spam an area with publicity boards?

There is controversy in the London suburb of Brixton over an estate agent which has allegedly 'spammed' the area with publicity boards.

The community blog Brixton Buzz carries an extensive array of photographs of Haart signs which, from a distance at least, look like For Sale boards. In fact they are advertising - in late September - a so-called Summer Festival.

The blog is accompanied by text which accuses Haart of trying to outdo Foxtons as the area’s most unpopular estate agents - a reference to the low-scale rioting earlier this year which involved breaking windows in the Brixton branch of Foxtons.

The text on Brixton Buzz reads:

"Haart have taken to plastering their unlawful advertising all over council estates, street signs, parks and other properties that don’t belong to them. Their recent campaign was designed to show off their ‘community’ credentials, with the signs ostensibly being there to promote a local summer festival.

"Trouble is that the only word you can see from a distance is the name of the estate agents, so it looks like it’s advertising another property for sale. Get a bit closer and it looks like it’s all about Haart’s own ‘Summer Festival’."

The text goes on to suggest that - in conflict with local council by-laws - some of the signs may not have been erected with the consent of the property or site owner. The blog claims at least some of the signs may therefore be illegal.

The blog concludes: "So it would appear that it’s all about shameless self advertising, with a local festival being the justification – and with most of the signs remaining in situ long after the event has passed, it’s the PR gift that keeps on giving for the company."

Estate Agent Today has asked Haart to comment on the Brixton Buzz blog entry.

  • Trevor Mealham

    The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements)(England) Regulations 2007, permits under Class 3D, the display of an advertisement on any property (with the owners consent) announcing any local event, providing the advert is not displayed earlier than 28 days before the first day of the event and is removed 14 days after the event.

  • John Corey

    Thanks Trever. That is useful to know.

  • icon

    Nice one Trevor. Aside from all this, I'm wondering why Haart were holding a summer festival on Sept 5th? Bit late to the damp squib of a party that was 'summer'.

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    Haarts had perrmission to put up the board for our annual fun day which we have each year in September. Permission is seek from Lambeth Housing by myself as Chair of Myatts Field South TRA
    The board are on Lambeth Council land and Housing estates.
    This is a yearly sponsorship that is done by Haarts for our event, which due to my heavy work overload did not get Lambeth logo & Lambeth College logo who sponsored the flyers & banners for the said event, on time to be printed on the boards. Had I managed to get these logos to Haart on time there would be no need for all this speculation & viral comments aimed at Haarts who has provided to our community support for local event which when offered the opportunity to all other estate agents they did not even have the decency to respond to our calls, Haarts had manners & returned the call & therefore they are the ones that have continued to support us over the years with the board & who we will continue to stay loyal.
    in fact due to them waiting on us for the location they did not even get the allocated time for the boards to be erected as per the above regulations, they only managed to have the board up for just over a week.

    The one thing that was mistaken was that the printers forgot to put the address of Myatts Field South Estate on the board, due to the rush for us to get them up before the event that same week.

    Summer finishes in October therefore this is our date for our Summer Festival, between the first or second week in September each year.

    I hope you will all promote our event next year, & come along to enjoy it .

    The picture above is on Holland Town estate which is on Lambeth Council land.
    Please in future get the correct information before you go ahead with spreading untrue assumptions.
    Libel is a serious thing should Haarts decided to go down that route.

    from Lucy Williams - Chair Myatts Field South TRA


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