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ASA bans fourth SpicerHaart ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against one of SpicerHaart Group’s Haart estate agents for making misleading and contradictory claims in a regional advertisement.

Spicerhaart’s adverts have been banned three times for being misleading, once in January, and two more adverts were banned last year.

The advert came from Darlows Estate Agents, part of the Haart estate agency network.

The advert was spread over five pages and the first page was headlined ’Darlows of Cardiff have sold the most properties this year’. It also listed the telephone number for 13 different areas and contained explanatory text at the foot of the page which stated ’there may be other agents which exceed these figures but do not publish their data on the internet.’

Kelvin Francis Estate Agents lodged the complaint to the ASA, challenging whether the advert misleadingly implied Darlows had offices in each of the areas listed, and that the claim to have sold the most properties was also misleading.

SpicerHaart says the advert related to coverage rather than offices, and says that the claim to have sold the most properties was to do with transactions in particular postcodes.

The ASA upheld the complaint on both counts. It agreed with Kelvin Francis that readers were likely to come to the conclusion that Darlows had offices in each of the areas listed.

It also ruled that the claim about how many homes it had sold was contradicted by the small print at the bottom of the advert and was not substantiated.

The advert must not appear again in its current form.



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  • ajk 23rd April 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Another example of why EA should be regulated and yet it goes on muppetts ripping customers off by signing thme up to 20 week sole agency contracts charging 2% and claiming to have a huge database of buyer.Well if they have so many buyers why the lengthy contracts!

  • jesus 19th April 2010 at 10:05 am

    i think you should go to hell.

  • Mr K Cooke 15th April 2010 at 6:01 pm

    This firm are unbelieveable. They just love to promote that they are the top agent when in many cases they are simply quite not. Nevertheless the general public are so gulable that they will be drawn in hook, line & sinker. The ASA really need to put a stop to them.

  • Andy Valvona 15th April 2010 at 9:53 am

    Why are we not surprised? Whilst regulation can be viewed as being heavy handed in some sectors, the lack of it in others, particularly estate agencies, is not helpful to the industry, and consumers alike.

  • John 14th April 2010 at 3:41 pm

    What a shame that they cannot be hit with the sort of punitive fines a broker would be hit with for making a misleading statement!

  • Mark Glithero 14th April 2010 at 12:08 pm

    4 times?? You would have thought that the buffoons at Spicer Haart would have learnt their lesson by now!! Do they think the are above the law?