Complaints were made about the fact one of Hatched’s websites gave its address as being in a location in Pudsey, Yorkshire, with complainants highlighting the fact that this was not actually a legitimate business address.
In its defence, Hatched claimed that it has local property consultants based in 16 locations across the country, who sometimes work from home, but have office-based phones and company equipment so that they can carry out their duties from the address.
The ASA upheld the complaint, saying that the presentation of the location as a branch, along with published opening hours, strongly implied there was a public-facing business address at the location, rather than an employee’s home.
Expect a branch
It continued: “Despite the fact that they conducted business from their home addresses, we considered that most consumers would nevertheless expect from the ad that the address was a physical branch.
“Because there was no information to indicate the address was not a physical branch or that Hatched’s staff worked from home we therefore considered the ad was misleading.”
Hatched was ordered to remove the ad and ensure that all future marketing does not state or imply the presence of a physical office branch if that is not actually the case.