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.