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Exeter agent cautioned by watchdog over use of portal comparison ad

Wilkinson Grant's claim that 'eight times' more people see its properties than rivals is not to be repeated.

Nigel Lewis
exeter agent

The Wilkinson Grant head office in Exeter.

A magazine advert run in a regional magazine by two-branch Exeter agent Wilkinson Grant has been reported to the Advertising Standards Authority by local rival SaleBoards.

The advertisement highlighted how Wilkinson Grant lists its properties on “all the leading property websites” including Rightmove and Zoopla but not OnTheMarket.com,.

It also claimed that – through the use of photography – vendors listing with it would receive eight times more people looking at the properties online than with rivals.

The ad’s headline said “Would you rather your property is seen by this many people OR this many people?”.

More buyers

The ad went on to say: “Undoubtedly, Rightmove is the most powerful online property portal, but there are other platforms out there capable of putting your property in front of even more buyers.

“A vast number of estate agents choose to market property on Rightmove and via the lesser known property portal OnTheMarket, which we think is bad news for vendors as they will be at a tremendous disadvantage if their property is not listed on Zoopla, the second most visited property portal in the UK and Primelocation … We advertise properties on ALL leading online property sites”.


SaleBoards, which like Wilkinson Grant is based in Exeter, challenged whether the claim was misleading and also if the advertisement had enough information to verify the ‘eight times’ claim.

It also challenged whether Wilkinson Grant could say it advertised on all leading portals. OnThemarket’s ‘one other portal’ means no agent can in theory make the claim that is on all the leading portals.

After being contacted by the ASA, Wilkinson Grant confirmed that the advertisement only appeared once and assured investigators that the claims in it would not be made again, and that future ads would be put the ASA’s CAP Copy Advice service. No further action was taken and the case informally resolved.

Read more stories about industry regulation.

July 5, 2017

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