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Advertising watchdog tackles three companies for misleading ads

Developer and two agents picked up for ASA code breaches

Nigel Lewis

Three different property firms including two agents and a developer have made it on to today’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) naughty step after complaints were made against them for publishing misleading ads.

asa logo misleading adsThe most serious is against London-based agent Harper Brooks, whose website for a 98 unit, £18m new-homes development in Manchester called Grove House was investigated by the ASA following a complaint.

Its website for the development, www.grovehousemanchester.co.uk, claimed to offer two-bedroom properties for rent from £650pcm but the complainant said no properties were available at that price, and that no “manned concierge desk” was available, as claimed.

The ASA upheld the complaint but also heavily criticises Harper Brooks – which trades as Cambourne Properties Ltd – for not responding to the ASA’s enquiries quickly or adequately enough, which itself is a breach of the ASA’s code. When The Negotiator visited the website earlier today the advert had yet to be amended.

The other complaints about misleading ads were less serious and were informally resolved. Hybrid agent YOPA was reported for failing to make it clear that VAT was not included within its ‘savings’ calculator, which shows potential clients how much less they might pay using YOPA compared to a traditional high street agent. YOPA has now amended the copy on its site.

Lastly, there was a complaint against developer Springfield Properties in Glasgow for using the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme logo on property photos for developments where the scheme was not applicable. The company has agreed to amend its website, which it has now done.

October 25, 2016

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