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Three agents investigated after being reported over misleading claims

Advertising watchdog examines complaints by public and competitors over information within three different leaflets and circulars.

Nigel Lewis

Claims made in three different estate agents’ leaflets and circulars distributed in Scotland, Sheffield and Somerset have been challenged by members of the public for being misleading and reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

After being approached by the watchdog the agents have promised not to repeat the claims made in the leaflets, which included competitor comparisons, inaccurate information about a portal listing and claims about ‘prices achieved’.

Happy Sales & Lettings, which is based in Sheffield, distributed a leaflet that listed a number of competitors’ sold and unsold properties in a table format.

One of the competitors, local firm Crucible Sales & Lettings, challenged whether the information in the leaflet was both misleading and the information verifiable.

Happy Sales & Lettings said the leaflet was no longer being distributed, and promised to ensure future competitor comparison information was clearly signposted in future ads.

Lewis Gray was reported to the ASA because the company claimed in a circular that it listed properties on Zoopla when it did not, and has now removed references to the portal in its print and online material.

And Scottish RE/MAX franchisee John Slaven had his circular challenged after a member of the public spotted his claim within it that he would “get you the highest possible price”. They challenged whether it was misleading and could be substantiated. The agent gave assurances that the claim would not be used again, the ASA says.

September 20, 2017

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