10:19 AM, 10th February 2011, About 11 years ago
A property agent has had a newspaper advert banned for bragging the firm rented more properties than most.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled the advert was misleading because the firm could not substantiate the claims.
Complaints about the claim came from rival property agent Spicerhaart – a company that has had numerous adverts banned itself.
The offending advert was run in local newspapers around South Wales in September and October by letting and estate agent Roberts & Co. The firm rents and sells homes in Newport, Cwmbran, Caerleon, Risca Magor, Pontypool, Abergavenny, Blackwood and Caerphilly.
The ad said: “Roberts & Co SOLD & RENTED MORE HOMES LAST WEEK THAN MOST AGENTS DID LAST MONTH!!”.
The tribunal heard that Roberts & Co made the claim after a run of sales and conversations with other estate agents.
The firm’s bosses knew that they had sold more properties in this period than their competitors and considered they were one of the area’s largest agents, but decided to water down their claim to just “MOST” agents.
The figures backing the claim came from web site reports that compared the firm’s new instructions and stock for sale compared to other agents. These reports did not include sales, but believed they proved Roberts’ standing within the local property market.
The ASA noted the reports did not relate to properties sold or rented and ruled the ad misleading on the grounds Roberts could substantiate the claim.
Netmovers seek guidance over property data scraping
Meanwhile in another row over property advertising, portal Netmovers has asked the Property Ombudsman for regulatory guidance over the practise of ‘scraping’ or data mining online information.
This involves capturing details of properties for sale or rent from web sites and advertising them without permission on another web site.
Many agents claim scraping is wrong because the original agent or seller has not relinquished copyright of the details.
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