Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.
The estate agent market is highly competitive and it is common for ads to include claims such as “Market Leaders”, “Leading Estate Agent”, “Premier” or “Top Selling Agent”. As with other sectors, objective superiority claims need to be substantiated and the ASA generally considers “leading” or “Number 1” claims to relate to sales or market share.
Marketers have occasionally based comparative sales claims on data obtained from the Land Registry. The ASA has considered Land Registry evidence that showed the total number of properties sold in any given postcode. The marketers calculated the number of those properties they had sold in that postcode.
In practice, however, discrepancies have arisen because of difficulties in establishing specific postcodes for an area in which that marketer operates: estate agents do not tend to sell property exclusively within particular postcodes. Even if the marketer did exclusively sell property in a particular postcode, the agent or agents they are being compared with unlikely to sell property exclusively in that same geographical territory.
Therefore, advertisers should therefore avoid making such claims, as this are going to be difficult to substantiate (Davis Tate Estate Agents, 22 March 2006; Romans Estate Agents Ltd, 11 February 2004).