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Emoov ad banned by ASA for misleading sellers

  • 03/06/2015
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Online estate agent eMoov has come under fire for making unsubstantiated and misleading claims to vendors over fees and asking prices.

On its website, eMoov claimed that its sales performance in 2014 showed it received 99% of the asking price for its clients compared to the national average of 96%. It also claimed that its customers had saved more than £11m in fees by using its services because its business model depended on it selling a higher proportion of its inventory.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reviewed the data which eMoov used to calculate the percentages and ruled that the statements were unsubstantiated. The sales data only covered the period of January to September 2014 and no comparable information about asking prices achieved by traditional estate agents in London was provided.

EMoov’s calculation of fee savings was criticised by the ASA because it was based on the average fee its customers paid instead of actual fees, which the regulator said it understood to be double that of the average fee in some cases. The ASA said the calculation was not ‘robust’ and no explanation as to how the savings had been calculated was supplied for the public. It added that sources of data eMoov used were unreliable.

A complaint about a statement from eMoov that its business model depended on it selling a higher proportion of its inventory was not upheld by the ASA. EMoov promotes a high number of its properties using online portals which charge for the number of properties listed. If it did not sell a sufficient proportion of the homes on its books it claimed its portal costs would be unsustainable which satisfied the ASA that the statement was correct.

EMoove has been told to remove the advert in its current form. EMoov was told to make sure it held sufficient evidence to substantiate its marketing claims and qualified them appropriately in future.

The ASA told eMoov Ltd to ensure it held sufficient evidence to substantiate their marketing claims and qualify them appropriately in future.

Visit the ASA website to read the full ruling.

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