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Firms challenged over ‘distressing’ repossession ad and incorrectly listing home for sale

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  • 10/04/2019
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Firms challenged over ‘distressing’ repossession ad and incorrectly listing home for sale
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has resolved a host of complaints made against property firms who were accused of indulging in misleading marketing.

 

Move Inn Estates was the subject of a complaint over an advert on Zoopla, which included information about a house for sale.

The owner of the property in question complained, arguing that the property was not actually for sale, prompting the ASA to get involved.

The agent has now removed the ad.

 

Repossession claims

AX 365 Property Services, a mortgage servicing firm, was subject of a complaint over a direct mailing campaign which implied that the recipient’s home could be repossessed.

The complainant argued the ad could cause distress and was not clearly labelled as marketing material.

The firm agreed to amend the mailing to make it clear that it was an advert.

Paul Essien, business development executive at AX 365, told Mortgage Solutions that the business had been founded by people with experience of being on the receiving end of repossessions, and so wanted to contact those in a similar position to make sure they understood their options.

He conceded that the wording of the ad could be seen to be quite alarming, and said the firm would continue revisiting its communications to ensure it got the tone right.

 

False claims

A third complaint centred on a door drop leaflet from Rain Properties, which trades as Property Purchased Fast.

The leaflet included claims that the firm had been featured on publications like The Sunday Times, the Evening Standard, CNN and the FT, as well as that the firm was registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

A complainant challenged whether these claims could be substantiated. While the firm provided evidence to show that it was registered with the ICO, the ASA instructed it to not use logos of the other publications as it was misleading.

 

Mortgage Solutions has contacted Move Inn Estates and Rain Properties for comment.

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