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Quick sale firm wins radio advertising complaint case

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has decided not to uphold a complaint made against a quick property sale firm's radio advert. 

The radio ad for Property Rescue Limited was aired in March 2016 and encouraged people in financial difficulties to sell their homes.

The advert's voiceover stated: "Need financial help? You need it now, not next month or next year."

"That's why when Property Rescue buy your house they can give you a cash advance which will help you, you guessed it, right now."

"They can pay your standard legal fees. Is there no end to their loveliness?"

"Sell your home fast at PropertyRescue.co.uk. They're buying houses all over Britain. Property rescue, problem solved.”

The complainant suggested the ad omitted the fact that customers would not receive full market value for their property and challenged whether it was therefore misleading.

The case was then investigated by the ASA.

Property Rescue's defence centred on the fact that property value was not mentioned at all in the advert.

It claims the ad was in line with approaches used by other property firms like estate agents as well as those buying cars for cash at below-market prices.

Property Rescue also referenced that the advert directed potential customers to its website, where there is enough material for consumers to work out how the service is operated.

This Is Global, the radio organisation which aired the advert, referenced a similar advertisement which had been cleared and also stated that at no point was it suggested that Property Rescue could achieve the full market value for any property. 

It also defended the ad by saying that it believed that consumers would be aware that a property – whether being sold through the advertiser or an estate agent – could be purchased for below its perceived market value.

The ASA decided not to uphold the compliant and ruled that neither Property Rescue nor This Is Global would have to take any further action regarding the advert.

The advertising watchdog claimed that radio listeners would understand that the service was aimed at those in financial difficulties and that the idea of the service is to sell a property rapidly in order to make cash readily available.

It also noted the defendants' assertions that additional information was available on Property Rescue's website and that the ad's focus was on a quick sale rather than the price achieved. 

"We considered that consumers acting on an interest in the service as a result of hearing the ad would do so on the basis that they would be able to sell quickly (and therefore receive a relatively fast cash payment in comparison to traditional methods of selling a house) and that the speed of service was therefore the key factor for the decision to find out more," says a spokesperson for the ASA. 

"We therefore considered that information about the proportion of market value paid was unlikely to affect this decision and, consequently, that in this context it was not misleading to omit that information."

Last week the ASA revealed that complaints made about ads issued by property firms increased by 10% during 2015

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