If a political party wants to run a country, it’s probably a good idea that it shows it can at least run a minor online campaign without a false start - but now the Liberal Democrats are having a second crack at setting up a mock estate agency.
Readers may recall that last week Estate Agent Today spotted a short-lived mock estate agency called May & Co which was promoted on a Lib Dem supporter’s website for a matter of hours before being deleted.
The problem was - unknown to and unchecked by the Lib Dems - there was already an estate agency in London called May and Co. Enquiries by EAT asking the political party whether it had checked with the agency went unanswered.
Now the campaign has reappeared but with a subtle difference - the mock estate agency is called Theresa May & Co.
The message is the same as before: it’s a campaign criticising the Conservatives for a policy which the Lib Dems, and many others, believe may lead individuals to have to sell their homes to fund their long-term social care.
The mock agency’s website is accompanied by statements saying the government is “selling your home to fund your care” and describing the fictitious Theresa May & Co as “Westminster’s finest estate agents – dealing exclusively in selling vulnerable elderly people’s homes to pay for the care they desperately need”.
However, the false start by the Liberal Democrats appear to have back-fired. The owner of the real May and Co, John Yianni, is quoted in the weekend press as saying he wrote to the party and eventually received an apology, but remains worried that the original site may remain accessible on the internet.
Yianni lives in Twickenham, a constituency being fought by ex-Lib Dem MP Vince Cable, who is seeking to return to parliament after losing the seat in 2015.
One newspaper quote Yianni as saying he had intended to vote for Cable - but “definitely wasn’t” now.