Two out of three complaints made by an estate agent about a competitor have been upheld by the advertising watchdog.
However, a challenge to the claim to have more For Sale and Sold boards than any other local agent was rejected.
Crewe firm McGarrible & Co challenged three claims made in a leaflet published by Butters John Bee last summer.
In the leaflet it claimed to have “more For Sale and Sold signs than any other local agent”; there was also a claim that the firm were gold award winners as “best in north west” at last year’s ESTAS awards; and was the “only agent in Crewe with viewings seven days a week”.
Butters John Bee told the Advertising Stanards Authority it made its claim about having more For Sale and Sold signs than any other local agents after an independent report by the company For Sale Sign Analysis, which physically counted the number of boards.
The ASA noted that text in the leaflet added: “The quantity of For Sale and Sold signs does not necessarily equate to the number of completions.”
The ASA said this informed consumers of the limitations of board counting data.
FSSA’s data showed that Butters John Bee had 29.6% of Sold boards, as stated in the leaflet, and ruled that the claim was not misleading.
Butters John Bee’s claim about “Gold Award winners as ‘Best in North West’” was ruled to be misleading.
The ASA said consumers would take it to mean that the firm had won the ESTAS gold award for best agent in the north-west. However, there was no overall award for the north-west, which the ESTAS divided into three regions. John Butters Bee had won one of these three regional awards.
The claim to be the only agent in Crewe with viewings seven days per week was based on Butters John Bee’s local knowledge and from employees of competitor firms.
The ASA said this was inadequate evidence. The claim had not been substantiated and was misleading.