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Watchdog upholds complaint against OTM over ‘early upload’ properties claim

Challenger OnTheMarket reveals information about number of properties uploaded to its portal earlier than others after recent TV advert is referred to ASA.

Nigel lewis


Property portal OnTheMarket has revealed in evidence to the advertising watchdog that only a ‘small percentage’ of the new properties advertised on its site every month are available 24 hours before being uploaded to other portals or websites.

The information follows a complaint made to the Advertising Standards Authority about a TV ad it aired in May this year which claimed within its voice-over that “…agents have moved to OnTheMarket.com from other sites and many are advertising their new properties exclusively with us first, 24 hours or more ahead of other portals”.

The complainant challenged whether the claims that properties could be seen exclusively via OnTheMarket.com 24 hours or more before being seen on other websites or portals were misleading and could be substantiated. This complaint about the ad has been upheld by the ASA.

Early uploads

Within the adjudication text, OTM have asked us to point out that the ASA makes it clear that the complaint was upheld because the ad inferred “that any agent providing any properties exclusively to us first were providing all their properties exclusive with us first” rather than because of the ratio of properties uploaded early.

The ASA says it considered the inference in the ad that all properties uploaded by agents to OTM were ‘early to market’ was a significant claim that would “encourage consumers to visit OnTheMarket before other property portals”.

“While the evidence held by OnTheMarket showed that several thousand new properties were advertised with them each month, a small percentage only were advertised exclusively with OnTheMarket for the first 24 hours. We therefore concluded that the claim was misleading.”

The ASA has told OTM to ensure future ads did not suggest that all new properties listed by agents were advertised exclusively with OnTheMarket.com unless they held adequate evidence.

A second complaint about a similar advert seen on a London Underground poster but with different wording was not upheld by the ASA.

Read more about OTM.


September 5, 2018

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