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Estate agencies clash over ad

Estate agency Hamptons International has hit out at rival estate agents Savills over the contents of a recent advert it produced.

Hamptons lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority over a regional press advert Savills produced which claimed that it attracted more buyers via its website than any of its competitors and that the firm has more offices for sourcing buyers.

This was supported by a bar graph that shows Savills to be the highest with 70 offices for sourcing clients while its competitors have between 18 and 65 offices between January and July 2007.

Hamptons called into question the validity of the text and bar chart with regard to the 70 offices and the date of the figures.

Hamptons also alleged Savills misled consumers by excluding a competitor that was likely to have a higher share of online visitors from its internet traffic comparison.

But Savills responded saying that it used an independent source to establish the number of offices, using figures determined by Estate Agency News for its league tables.

It also used an independent source, Hitwise, for its bar graph data on stating that the dates were correct but that the source was misattributed in the ad.

With regard to the final allegation that it intentionally excluded a major competitor Savills says that it excluded Foxtons because it is not considered a national agency.

After investigating, the ASA says the complaint against Savills has not been upheld.

But it did stipulate to Savills that if the ads or information were used in future campaigns that the information should be presented clearly and the differences should be explained.


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