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Twitter Storm: complaints about house competition

A Twitter account dedicated to the private sale of a multi-million pound waterside home in Berkshire has prompted complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Helen and Gary Weller - and specifically their company, Reve House Ltd - created a £25 spot the ball competition in a bid to sell the home, which had previously been on sale with traditional estate agencies for over £3.95m.

However a complainant contacted the ASA claiming the tweets failed to mention that a 25p entry transaction charge was payable by competition entrants in addition to the £25.

The complainant also alleged there was no reference to an alternative prize if the competition failed to secure enough entries to cover the price of the house - the couple had said 200,000 entries were needed to cover the cost.

The authority upheld the two complaints but did not uphold a third about the judging process.

In concluding a lengthy judgment the ASA stated: “We told Reve House Ltd to ensure that, to avoid causing unnecessary disappointment, future ads stated all significant conditions sufficiently prominently and that they awarded the prize described in the ad, or a reasonable equivalent.”

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