As I’m thinking of finally hanging up my clip-board (plastic covered writing equipment) and furling my tape measure (long fabric marked in feet and inches – sorry centimetre thingies) for the last time, I thought: let’s just have one final pop at these Purplebricks ads.
I had a grudging respect for the visual storyline in the guy screaming in the cupboard.
The lady with cake on her face was clever too, but naturally, like every self-respecting proper estate agent, I took exception to the intimation that there was no commission to pay!
Plenty of people made noises and the Advertising Standards Authority offered some whimpering bleats that ‘perhaps Purplebricks wouldn’t mind being ever so nice and altering a few phrases, and so sorry to have bothered you nice Mr Brick’.
It was only when I saw the wedding scene advert that my dander was raised once again, and this time no one seemed to have picked it up.
This awful father-in-law, in his wedding breakfast speech, accuses poor Gareth of being a liar: “He said Purplebricks were just online. Well they’re not, Gareth. They are proper estate agents.”
We all know they’re not, so I made a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority saying that the advert was misleading as Purplebricks are patently not ‘proper estate agents’ as they are online only and the public would rightly expect ‘proper estate agents’ to have offices.
The ASA dismissed my complaint immediately saying: “We noted that Purplebricks offer similar services to a traditional estate agent, including visiting properties and face to face valuations, and provided local property experts who were sufficiently trained and experienced. For these reasons, we can’t say the ad breaks the rules on the basis you suggest.”
I had also made the point that, without High Street offices, they couldn’t justify saying “we’re not just online”, as that’s patently all they are.
So I questioned the ASA decision and they came back with this ever more glowing commendation of PB’s credentials as ‘proper estate agents’ thus: “With regards to your complaint about the claim they are proper estate agents” I believe it would be covered by the same ruling here.
“As stated previously the ruling commented that Purplebricks offered ‘similar services to a traditional estate agent’ and that the combination of property experience, qualifications, professional membership and an internal training programme was sufficient to substantiate the claim ‘expert’. For these reasons we are unable to conclude the ad has broken our Code at this time.”
It seems to me the ASA are as gullible as PB’s investors and believe everything PB tells them.
Was I barking up the wrong tree – am I an ill-informed old f..rt of a past-it agent?
Please let me know!