Advertising standards authority holds up complaint over Purplebricks adverts

Alys Key
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Purplebricks said it has already changed its ads (Source:

Online estate agent Purplebricks has been accused of misleading the public after its advertising came under scrutiny.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against the company, saying that its ads did not make it clear that it would charge consumers whether or not a sale was made.

Purplebricks charges a flat fee rather than a commission for its services. The ASA ruled against a second complaint which alleged that the company implied it did not charge at all.

The Aim-listed company said it has already changed the two TV adverts, while chief executive Michael Bruce said he was "surprised" by the ruling, pointing out that the flat fee is published on the home page of the Purplebricks website.

"We are surprised by the ASA judgement on the flat fee wording because prior to air our adverts went through the proper approvals process, including the official clearance body Clearcast who have continued to support their original judgement with the ASA," he said.

"Purplebricks is firmly on the side of the consumer, offering an alternative to the commission based model. As a leader of industry change some noise is inevitable."

The ASA received 38 complaints about the adverts, including one from Oakhill Estate Agents.

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