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‘Number one agent’ claim results in ASA ban on another SpicerHaart ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned another advertisement from SpicerHaart Group, trading as estate agent Darlows.

A regional press ad for Darlows read: “We are proud to be the number one agent in Cardiff.”

Kelvin Francis, which believed it was the city’s number one agent, challenged whether the claim could be substantiated.

SpicerHaart said it had evidence to show that on the date of the ad it had 523 properties listed and 202 properties that were likely to sell.

It calculated that this resulted in a listing to sales ratio of 38.62% which it then applied to current online listings from search engines to show that it had a 20.82% market share, while its nearest competitor had a 15.26% market share.

SpicerHaart submitted five screenshots which indicated the available properties for sale in five areas of Cardiff and said this showed it had the highest number of properties listed than other agents in the area.

But the ASA said most people would consider the claim to mean that Darlows sold more properties in Cardiff than any other estate agent based in the area.

The ASA did not consider that property listings relating to one day demonstrated its sales were higher than other agents in the area.
It also noted the market share figure was based on calculating the ratio of the number of properties listed to the likely properties sold, rather than on data that related directly to completed sales.

SpicerHaart was told not to use the claim ’number one agent’ again unless it held relevant, comparative data to substantiate it.

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