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Estate Agencies rapped by advertising watchdog

Advertising Standard Agency says ad featuring a bare male torso is likely to cause serious offence

Nigel Lewis


Coventry firm Lewis Oliver was reported for a cheeky newspaper ad that included a picture of a man’s torso wearing only swimming shorts headlined as “WOW WHAT A PACKAGE”. A roundel over the model’s crotch then said “Fully Managed Letting Service”.

Two members of the public complained about the ad, claiming that the “image was irrelevant to the service being advertised and objectified the man” and was therefore offensive.

The ASA has upheld the two complaints, saying that “taking the image, strapline and placement of the roundel into account, we considered that the ad was likely to have the effect of objectifying the man by using his physical features to draw attention to an unrelated product.

“We concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious offence to some people.”

Lewis Oliver was told not to repeat the ad, which is due for renewal in a few weeks’ time when the advertising contract with the paper comes to an end.

The ad has also appeared as a billboard ad (above) although this did not attract any complaints.

Meanwhile, a Cornish estate agent has had both a tweet and a blog published by the business referred to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which has upheld the complaints and asked for the claims made by the firm not to be repeated.

Chris Wood NAEA PropertymarkChris Wood (pictured), who runs PDQ Estates based in Penzance and Helston, tweeted in October last year making claims about the percentage of homes sold in his area by online rival Purplebricks.

A blog published on the company’s website also claimed that UK vendors were ‘wasting’ half a billion pounds when using online agents like Purplebricks.

Both claims were examined in detail by the ASA including voluminous research provided by PDQ, but today the complaints were upheld.

The ASA agrees with the unnamed complainants that both the blog and Twitter claims could not be substantiated and were therefore misleading.

PDQ has now been told by the ASA that the Twitter ‘ad’ must not be repeated and its offending blog must be removed.

Read more about ASA adjudications.

July 11, 2018

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