Clearcast, the organisation that clears adverts for TV and radio, has said that anyone wanting to market an online estate agency on a broadcasting medium should submit full details as to how the business works.
Clearcast said: “This market is evolving, and whilst there may be similar general principles between online agents, not all of these services are the same.”
It said it is seeing more adverts for online agents.
This year, Clearcast has approved TV adverts for online estate agents, only to have the Advertising Standards Authority rule against them.
In February, HouseSimple offered a “chance to ‘sell your home from just £495 upfront”.
The ASA found that the price was only available to customers who used HouseSimple’s recommended conveyancing and mortgage services, otherwise they were charged an additional fee.
Clearcast had concluded differently – that because customers could sell their homes for the featured price, the advert was acceptable.
In August, the ASA upheld other complaints against HouseSimple, including a claim that HouseSimple saved customers an average of £5,000.
That TV advert had also been cleared by Clearcast.
Last month the ASA upheld a complaint that Purplebricks’ ‘commisery’ adverts did not make it clear a fee was charged whether the property sold or not.
Again, this advert had been cleared by Clearcast.
Clearcast now requires Purplebricks and other online agents to state that the flat fee is always payable.
The full Clearcast blog is here: https://www.clearcast.co.uk/blog/online-house-buying-services/
* Separately, a case involving an agent has been informally resolved by the ASA.
A spokesperson said: “We received one complaint about an ad for a property as it was listed as a detached property when it was actually a semi-detached property. We approached the advertiser with the concern that had been raised and the advertiser agreed to remove the claim from the ad.
“On this basis, we considered the matter resolved and closed the case.”