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Watchdog intervenes after complaint about Countrywide property

The Advertising Standards Authority has stepped in following a complaint about a property advertised by Connells-owned Countrywide estate agents.

The issue revolves around a listing saying a property was ‘reduced in price’.

However, a complaint to the ASA suggested the home in question had been advertised at its full price for just “a few hours”.

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The ASA intervened and in a statement to Estate Agent Today says: “The advertiser informed us that the ‘reduced in price’ claim should not have appeared on the website and they have since removed it.”

The watchdog has classified the complaint as “informally resolved” meaning that it does not require a fuller investigation. 

There has long been debate within the industry as to why some complaints to the ASA are resolved informally.

The authority itself has this to say to those who are complained about: “We prefer to work by persuasion and consensus so, where appropriate, we will resolve issues informally. For example, we might provide advice and guidance or seek agreement that an ad will be changed or withdrawn. 

“Informally resolved cases are not put before the ASA Council and no ruling is published, so it means we can act on problems far more quickly than by formal investigation. If we have proposed a formal investigation, but you think the matter can be resolved informally, contact us and we’ll discuss the options with you.”

  • Glenn Taylor

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