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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agency agrees to remove outdated Rightmove info from ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has intervened in the case of an estate agency using information from Rightmove that was more than 90 days old.

Harrisons Estate Agents in Bolton produced a leaflet which stated: “Join the fastest growing estate agent in Bolton” and “1st out of 79 agents. Our results speak for themselves Official Stats from Rightmove”. 

The leaflet featured a pie chart showing the agency’s market share compared to nearby rival agencies. In small text it stated: “Sales agreed report” and listed a number of postcodes.

Another Bolton agency, Miller Metcalfe, reported the leaflet to the Advertising Standards Authority suggesting that the data was out of date and suggested the claims “...fastest growing estate agent in Bolton” and “1st out of 79 agents” were misleading and it challenged whether they could be substantiated.

The ASA contacted Harrisons which explained the claims were based on Rightmove data that is valid for 90 days; however, it said that the 90 days were up and the claims had been amended in new advertising.

“Because we understood the problematic claims were no longer appearing, we considered no further action was necessary and closed the case on an informal basis” an authority spokeswoman has told Estate Agent Today.

Last week we asked the ASA to explain why so many complaints against estate agencies ended with informal resolution rather than any more formal measure: here is the authority’s reply.

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    Following a recent ASA ruling, Harrisons Estate Agents replied in their defence the reason the ASA upheld a complaint was because their advert was out of date.
    John Fletcher, Chairman of Miller Metcalfe who made the complaint, said today "Their defence is utter nonsense and shows a complete lack of respect for the findings of the authority."

    Miller Metcalfe complained to the ASA because Harrisons advertised they were “1st out of 79 agents” in Bolton. The statement was misleading and misrepresented the facts. The complaint was upheld.

    Harrison's claim was based on manipulating Rightmove Intel data using sales made in only 7 out of the 34 (or 20%) of the Bolton post codes and sectors.

    He went onto say "Yet another estate agent in Bolton are claiming to be number one. Everyone knows who the market leader is, so much so that we don't even bother promoting it. Vendors don't care, they choose an agent who they trust to handle the sale of their property, backed up by great customer service, to minimise the stress of the home moving experience." It was only out of date because it took so long for them to respond to Rightmove's request to withdraw the claim as it was in breach of their usage guidelines. Rightmove reserve the right to withdraw their Intel should the agent continue to not comply. A concern for any vendor who instructs an agent that misuses their data."

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