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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Ad watchdog says agency's 'More Sales Agreed' claim was misleading

The Advertising Standards Authority says a Market Harborough firm's leaflet claiming it had 'more sales' than any other agent earlier this year was misleading.

The ASA says a direct mailing for Cooper Estates was headlined “MORE SALES AGREED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2016 THAN ANY OTHER AGENT”. 

Smaller text stated the information below in the ad was based on resale dates from 07/01/2016 to 07/03/2016 and the data was derived from Rightmove statistics.

Henderson Connellan, another agency, contacted the ASA saying it believed the period of time from which the data was drawn was not generally representative of the sales agreed in the first quarter of 2016. It also challenged whether the claim “MORE SALES AGREED IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2016 THAN ANY OTHER AGENT” was misleading and could be substantiated.

The ASA says Cooper Estates agreed the data was misleading as it covered a two month period and most consumers would understand the first quarter of 2016 to cover a three month period. 

"They informed us they had ceased distributing the leaflet several weeks ago and would not be reproducing it again. We considered no further action was therefore required, so closed the case on an informal basis" an ASA spokeswoman told Estate Agent Today.

There was a separate complaint to the ASA regarding Bucks Property Agents. 

The authority received a complaint about a property listing for a cottage listed on Rightmove 

The complainant, who understood that the garden plot of land was being sold separately, challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that it was included with the cottage. 

"We contacted the advertiser who amended the listing to clarify that the side plot was being sold separately and amended the 'key features' section of the Rightmove listing to further highlight this" says the ASA spokeswoman. 

"We considered no further action was therefore required, so closed the case on an informal basis" she says.

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