You are here: Home - News -

Purplebricks TV ads banned over misleading fees

  • 18/10/2017
  • 0
Purplebricks TV ads banned over misleading fees
Online estate agent Purplebricks has been told to be clearer about its fee structure in its marketing, after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint about the firm’s TV adverts, ordering that they cannot appear again.

The Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents (CIELA) complained to the advertising body, arguing that the ads – which declare that sellers can save themselves from “commisery” as Purplebricks does not charge commission – presented an unfair comparison between the fees charged by Purplebricks whether the property is sold or not and the commission charged by high street estate agents on successful sales.

Purplebricks defended the adverts, claiming that viewers would “understand from the ads that Purplebricks charged a flat-fee and that the service was therefore not free”, and that the comparison was justifiable.

However, the ASA upheld the complaint, stating: “We considered that they would likely understand that a fee was payable but not that the fee was always required to be paid upon commissioning Purplebricks’ services, even when a property had not been sold…We considered that it was not sufficiently clear in the ads that the fee payable to Purplebricks was not conditional on the sale of the property and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.”

As a result, the adverts must not appear again in their current form, while the ASA instructed the firm to ensure future ads make clear that fees are always charged, irrespective of whether the property is sold.

The ASA did not uphold a separate series of complaints about the adverts, from 37 separate complainants, who alleged that they implied that Purplebricks did not charge a fee at all for its services.

This isn’t the first time Purplebricks has fallen foul of the ASA, with three previous rulings against it for misleading fee claims. The most recent came in July, when it was ordered to amend its website to remove or amend claims around how much customers could save with the firm.

There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in

Business Skills

In this section, we offer short ‘how to’ guides on harder to crack areas of business. From social media, to regulation or niche product areas, we cover it all.


Our journalists interview key industry entrepreneurs, strategists and commentators for day-to-day market insight and a strategic view of where the industry is heading. We offer lessons for success and explore the opportunities for your business

Success in Practice

Here, we share case studies fleshing out best practice to help you decide what could work for your business. Take a look at how others approached complex tasks like launching a new mortgage lender, advising on a new product area or deciding to specialise in another. Learn from others mistakes and triumphs.


Each week, we ask top mortgage and property commentators with a unique perspective to examine a key news headline, market move or regulatory or political issue.


Vote in our weekly poll here. It’s your chance to tell us what you think and be heard on the top news stories of the week. Review our archive to find out what your industry really thinks and all our coverage of the results.

Top Comments

Be part of the conversation on Mortgage Solutions. We want to hear from you. We have a tool called Disqus to tell us which stories get the most comments each week. Every Friday, the team picks the most thoughtful or opinionated contributions from our readers to enjoy again. Don’t forget to share your favourite stories from the site on social media to keep the conversation going.

Read previous post:
Pete Thomson
TML adds family gifted equity and eases contractor criteria

The Mortgage Lender (TML) will accept family gifted equity applications at up to 75% loan to value and has amended...