ASA upholds CIELA complaint and bans Purplebricks Commisery TV advertisements
CIELA filed the only successful complaint (of 38 filed in total) against Purplebricks’ “commisery” television advertisements, according to the ASA ruling published Wednesday October 18th.
As a result PurpleBricks must now stop showing the offending adverts and remove them from any websites where they remain.
Purplebricks breached BCAP rules 3.1, 3.2 (Misleading advertising), and 3.3 (Comparisons with identifiable competitors), because it dishonestly portrayed its flat, non-refundable fee, as comparable to the traditional commission-based model.
In light of Purplebricks’ misleading advertisements, CIELA questions just how many people fell victim to their dishonest tactics. Countless individuals have been tricked into parting with not only the non-refundable fee charged, which merely guarantees a listing with Purplebricks, but also the real economic injury suffered when a property sits idle on the market. As award-winning property industry journalist Graham Norwood wrote in a recent Sunday Times article, “GetAgent reports that in 2016 and early 2017, traditional agents typically found a buyer for more than 80% of the homes they marketed. Online firms sold only 48%-58% of properties. Many disappointed vendors go on to hire traditional agents to finish the job – meaning they effectively have to pay twice.”
Such fraudulent representations also inflict extensive damage upon traditional high-street agents in light of this out of bounds manoeuver, which circulated and influenced the vulnerable public for the better part of the year.
CIELA members accept and welcome all forms of legitimate competition but refuse to accept the kind of dishonest, manipulative, illegal and immoral conduct displayed by Purplebricks.
Read our Founder’s reaction to the news, “Purplebricks CEO Michael Bruce is a liar and a conman“.