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Regulator bans eMoov ad containing ‘exaggerated’ claims

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Written by: Hannah Uttley
08/06/2016
The advertising watchdog has upheld three complaints made about a promotion and claims advertised by online estate agent eMoov.co.uk, which have now been banned by the regulator.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) contested that an offer entitled “Half Term: Sign up now & receive £220 off” was misleading because it had been promoted on two subsequent occasions in close succession – in effect extending the time to respond to the promotion.

Emoov’s ad also purported to have “sold [properties] in 98% of postcodes” which related to general postcode areas, such as SE5, but not full postcodes. After reviewing eMoov’s data, the ASA found the estate agent had not sold at least one property in each postcode district, concluding that the claim was misleading.

Another statement in the ad claimed that savings of “£13,499” on selling fees could have been made by Foxtons’ customers if they had made their purchase through eMoov. The ad included additional wording to explain that the statement related to one Foxtons branch in Brixton.

Appearing alongside the claim “Compare us to traditional estate agents”, the ASA considered that consumers would believe the potential to make such savings would be indicative of what they could achieve more generally.

In addition, the ASA accused eMoov of exaggerating savings as it had based its claim on a comparison between two different average selling prices for each firm, as opposed to a like-for-like comparison between the fees levied for the same value property.

The ASA has ordered eMoov to ensure closing dates of promotions are not extended unless unavoidable, not to claim that they had sold properties in 98% of UK postcodes or that their customers can save specific amounts compared to other estate agents without full substantiation.

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