The use of portal market data by estate agents to claim to be the ‘No.1 in a postcode’ has been thrown into doubt following a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
It has upheld a complaint by six-branch estate agency Farrell Heyworth that an advert by rival Leftmove on its website was misleading.
Farrell Heyworth challenged Leftmove’s claim that it was the ‘official market leader’ within the PR4 postcode between Preston and Blackpool during 2017, based on data from Rightmove Intel.
The ASA examined this claim and has upheld the complaint, saying Leftmove’s submitted evidence only showed the company’s own sales performance and not its competitors’, not all of whom list their properties on Rightmove, and that therefore the Intel data was not ‘whole market’.
“Because we had not been provided with sufficient evidence, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was therefore misleading,” the ASA says.
A second complaint by Farrell Heyworth challenged whether Leftmove’s claim to have an office in Poulton-le-Fylde was misleading because the company does not have a high street branch, but instead a serviced office with a receptionist.
The ASA considered this second complaint which it has also upheld, saying that potential customers would consider ‘office’ to mean a high street branch staffed by ‘individuals with expertise and knowledge of the local area’.
“We considered that a photograph on the ‘Our Branches’ page of Leftmove’s website contributed to this understanding,” the ASA says.
Read more about Leftmove and its previous run-in with the ASA.