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ASA informally resolves more complaints against property firms

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has published details of four more cases in which it has 'informally resolved' complaints made against property firms. 

Last week, the organisation upheld two complaints made against Purplebricks and announced that a complaint made against eMoov had been 'informally resolved'.

Here are the details of this week's informally resolved cases:

Watersons Independent Estate Agents

Watersons, based in the North West, produced a leaflet which featured text stating: 'properties sold by Watersons that other agents could not sell', followed by a list of properties the firm had sold. 

One of the firm's competitors, Reeds Rains, complained to the ASA, challenging whether the claims could be deemed as misleading, whether Watersons' claims could be substantiated and whether they were verifiable.

The ASA contacted Watersons and the firm agreed to remove the claim from its advertising. The watchdog then deemed the matter resolved and the case 'closed on an informal basis'.

Gloucestershire Property Online Ltd

The agency's website included text which read as follows:

“From humble beginnings we have successfully sold properties in every postcode in Gloucestershire”. 

A complaint was lodged with the ASA, challenging whether the claim was misleading and whether it could be substantiated.

Again, the agency agreed to remove the claim from their website upon being contacted by the ASA and the case was closed. 

Oyster Estates 

The property management firm, which is based in West Sussex, published a testimonial on its website from Monairit Properties Ltd.

It was published as follows:

“…I’m sure because Oyster understand what we are trying to achieve our bankers have always been happy to lend against the portfolio. The funding of new projects as a result of Oysters involvement and the myriad of other local businesses they have a relationship with, puts us in the special position of responsible local community housing – Simon Royall, Monairit Properties Ltd shareholder.”

Someone complained to the advertising watchdog that the testimonial was misleading because it failed to recognise that Simon Royall was also the director of Oyster Estates. 

Upon receiving contact from the ASA, the firm agreed to make clear that the testimonial had been provided by one of its directors' other companies. 

However, as of yesterday (September 20) the testimonial on Oyster Estates' case studies page had yet to be amended.

Galliard Homes

The housebuilder produced an advert for a property development outside of London, stating how long it took to reach the capital by train. 

A complaint was lodged with the ASA, challenging whether the firm had used an inaccurate timeframe that was shorter than what the journey would realistically take. 

Galliard Homes was contacted and asked to change the advert to reflect an average train journey – to which it agreed. 

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