A regional magazine advertisement which said that listing property at OnTheMarket put vendors at a disadvantage was reported to the Advertising Standards Authority.
The advert, for Devon-based firm Wilkinson Grant estate agents, stated: “Would you rather your property is seen by this many people or this many people?”
The advert featured, as a comparison, symbols representing four people alongside symbols representing 32 people.
Further text stated: “Undoubtedly, Rightmove is the most powerful online property portal, but there are other platforms out there capable of putting your property in front of even more buyers.
“A vast number of estate agents choose to market property on Rightmove and via the lesser known property portal OnTheMarket, which we think is bad news for vendors as they will be at a tremendous disadvantage if their property is not listed on Zoopla, the second most visited property portal in the UK*, and Primelocation … We advertise properties on ALL leading online property sites.”
Small print linked to the asterisk provided the source for the claim related to Zoopla and further small print stated “Illustration for representation purposes only”.
Exeter firm SaleBoards Estate Agents – which lists at OnTheMarket – challenged whether:
- the advert misleadingly implied that Wilkinson Grant’s properties would be seen by eight times as many people;
- the advert contained sufficient information to allow consumers to verify the ‘eight times’ claim; and
- the claim “We advertise properties on ALL leading online property sites” was misleading and could be substantiated.
A spokesperson for the ASA said: “We contacted the advertiser who explained the advert in question only appeared once.
“Furthermore they assured us the claims complained about will not appear in any of their future advertising either. They also agreed to get in touch with the CAP Copy Advice service.
“We concluded no further action was necessary and closed the case informally.”