House Simple’s “misleading” ad cautioned by ASA

Jessica Nangle

February 23, 2017

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A TV advertisement for House Simple seen in July and August 2016 has been cautioned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) due to its “misleading” nature.

A complaint to the ASA argued that the advert’s claim of being able to sell your home for £495 upfront or choose “a no sale, no fee option” was misleading and inaccurate.

This came after the complainant was told additional charges would have to be made unless they used House Simple’s conveyancing and mortgage services.

Matt Wilson, press officer at the ASA, said: “Our advertising rules are clear, pricing statements must not mislead; whether that’s through omitting material information or presenting it in a way that is unclear or ambiguous.

“Advertisers are required to make clear any significant limitations or qualifications to an offer.”

The decision was taken to uphold the complaint as the ASA considered that consumers would interpret House Simple’s at face value,and no other costs would be incurred.

Wilson added: “We took action to ban the House Simple TV ad because it misleadingly implied consumers could sell their home for “just £495” without making clear that the price only applied to customers who used House Simple’s recommended conveyancers and mortgage brokers.”

Alex Gosling, chief executive at House Simple, said:  “We always aim to be as clear and transparent as possible with our pricing structure.

“We accept the ruling that the ASA made. As it happens, we were already in the process of changing the TV ad before the complaint was made to the ASA last year.

“To be clear, our pay upfront fee is £595, but those sellers who use our recommended conveyancing and mortgage services benefit from a reduced price of £495.”

The advert from House Simple was revised after the upheld complaint.

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