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John Lawson
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my expertise in the industry

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John Lawson
>I agree with Freedom Road' please tell us Mr Lawson if you work for, or have a personal or financial interest in Purple Bricks? No. Let's not get too hung up on just one of the issues the ASA had with Chris Woods' attempt at substantiation of his claims. Let me summarise them here: 1. “We therefore considered that the properties which had been cited as withdrawn were very likely to include properties which had been sold on other websites” 2. “in one spreadsheet, the Land Registry data was incomplete, while the second spreadsheet was only comprised of properties cited as withdrawn. Furthermore, neither of the spreadsheets matched the list of properties instructed by PurpleBricks between October 2016 and 2017. We therefore considered that those spreadsheets could not be relied upon to determine the percentage of properties in that period that had been withdrawn without a sale.” 3. “That did not mean, however, that those properties were never sold after those ten months, and those figures did not in any case relate to the period and region cited in the ad. In any case, because we had not seen the source of the figure, it could not be relied upon as evidence.” 4. “the infographic they provided was only based on the West Cornwall area, which we considered was not sufficient to make a claim about the whole of the UK market as there was no evidence that properties sold in West Cornwall would be representative of the UK” 5. “PDQ had not shown us where the figures in the infographic were taken from, so we were unable to verify them. Similarly, they had not provided verification for the data in the image of the PowerPoint slide.” 6. “PDQ had provided further data obtained from Zoopla to substantiate the claim. However, that data only related to 15 properties, which was not sufficient to support a claim about the whole UK market.”

From: John Lawson 14 July 2018 07:29 AM

John Lawson
Chris, I'm afraid you need to read words more carefully. The facts of the matter are that the ASA have been given jurisdiction to determine whether an advert is misleading which is what they've done. Trading Standards do not have jurisdiction to determine this but of course may hold and express an opinion which they would have to present to the courts if they thought it was in the public interest. Hence the application with yourself and Trading Standards to the ASA. Trading Standards clearly don't have jurisdiction to determine whether an advert is misleading otherwise they wouldn't have gone to the ASA would they? See https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/purplebricks-group-plc-a17-376791.html "Four complainants, including Plymouth Trading Standards, Alexander Dawson (an Independent property consultant) and PQD Estates Ltd challenged whether the references to “Local Property Experts” were misleading and could be substantiated." You of course failed with that complaint and didn't seem to understand that decision either. Weren't you compliance officer at the NAEA? Frightening! I think you need to look at all your claims again. One that springs to mind as something you would not be able to substantiate is an advert by PurpleBricks which didn't mention it was for an LPE but you assumed it was. That's just speculation as with a lot of your claims. I honestly can't trust any of the points you make when you demonstrate such a poor understanding of what substantiation entails. Your comment earlier "My article makes it clear that the sample refers to a specific geographic area and that the figures quoted nationally are an extrapolation of that area" shows a complete lack of understanding. It's not just a matter of saying what you've done, it also has to be reasonable. The sample has to be a good representation and 15 properties in Cornwall is both too small a sample and non-representative of the UK as a whole (or do you actually think your postcodes are a good cross-section of the UK?) Do you think it would be OK to say you have 3 apples and put a little asterix and subtext saying "where 1 + 1 = 3"? There's a lot more to substantiation than just writing how you've come to the answer. The reasoning must be robust.

From: John Lawson 13 July 2018 07:37 AM

John Lawson
>They are the statutory authority who has jurisdiction over this matter. No, Chris, they may offer an opinion but it is not their jurisdiction to decide issues. Trading Standards have taken cases to Court & lost so don't try and pull the wool over people's eyes. The ASA do actually have jurisdiction to decide whether an advert is misleading. >there is no one with statutory authority who has made any ruling about the legality or otherwise of my post Doesn't mean it's not misleading though. The same applies for the rulings against PurpleBricks but that doesn't stop you from claiming they've misled does it? Incidentally, didn't you make a joint application with your local trading standards to the ASA and lose the case? Kind of suggests they don't have jurisdiction doesn't it if Trading Standards are making applications to the ASA? >The ASA also make it clear that the data on which the original blog was based was verified by ZPG as not having been tampered with or altered by me and, subsequently, allege that ZPG admits that the data headings supplied by ZPG may not be reliable. Well this wasn't mentioned in the report. https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/pdq-estates-ltd-a17-401398.html Having looked at your blog you state the ASA said in an email "While I appreciate you took the data at face value, your reliance on it does render the claims in your ads misleading because your claims assume that all properties cited as “withdrawn” have not been sold." The key word being "assume". Something you do a lot of. Let me quote you "Having checked the evidence and drawn on my experience, I tend to believe I am right until I am proved I am wrong or the evidence changes". Hardly confidence inspiring is it? >[The ASA] "allege that ZPG admits that the data headings supplied by ZPG may not be reliable". Given your ability to make false assumptions I'd like to see that allegation. The comment from your blog suggests your assumptions were incorrect. Pretty vague anyway! It is up to you to check what data represents and not jump to conclusions. You really have to stop passing the buck for your own failings and notwithstanding your misinterpretation of the ZPG data, the ASA ruled your claims were misleading for other reasons, all valid in their own right. I've never known such hypocrisy, still pointing the finger elsewhere.

From: John Lawson 12 July 2018 20:07 PM

John Lawson

From: John Lawson 12 July 2018 12:42 PM

John Lawson
Hi Sally, >However, I do not believe that the large amount of negative reviews for Purplebricks posted on AllAgents were all fake, the majority of them were way too detailed about the reasons for the clients dissatisfaction for someone to have made it all up. I don't think even PurpleBricks are claiming they are all fake but if I was to write a fake review I'd definitely try and make it look legitimate and provide lots of detail. >If an estate agent is good then the positive ones will outweigh the negative ones I would agree if those who write positive reviews were motivated enough to visit more than one review site. In the case of PurpleBricks they encourage customers to review on TrustPilot. I think that those writing negative reviews are more likely to post on more than one site and if you follow events like I do you will have seen one customer complaining that her negative review which AllAgents took down was in fact a copy of one she'd left on the TrustPilot site. >Of note, I am aware that every time a negative review is posted on TrustPilot for PurpleBricks they have it removed because they say they do not recognise the client Well that's not strictly true. There are some negative reviews which aren't even verified. Also, what happens is that when PurpleBricks flag a review up as an unrecognised customer then that customer is contacted by TrustPilot. If they come back and verify then the review is reinstated. TrustPilot have come out and said that PurpleBricks flag more positive reviews than negative ones. Also, what a lot of people probably don't realise, is that a large number of reviews will come via a link in an email sent out by PurpleBricks. If PurpleBricks claimed not to recognise the customer for any of these reviews then TrustPilot would see that they were abusing the system. BTW, I'm a PurpleBricks customer and used to work in the Internet Marketing industry.

From: John Lawson 19 October 2017 13:58 PM

John Lawson

From: John Lawson 25 April 2017 14:01 PM

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