Purplebricks Reprimanded Over ‘Misleading’ Ads

Purplebricks, an estate agent, was berated by the Advertising Standards Authority for possibly “misleading” customers regarding its fees.

Complaints about its “commisery” campaign – where sellers headbutt cakes and other similar things on discovering how much they could have saved with Purplebricks — were upheld partially by the watchdog.

Purplebricks combines estate agency and online trading. Staff and customers have to pay a fee whether or not their house is sold, even though this is much less than regular rivals. The ASA rebuffed a complaint that the ads of Purplebricks implied that it did not charge a fee. However, it said: “it was not sufficiently clear… that the fee payable to Purplebricks was not conditional on the sale of the property” and that the advertisements were, therefore “misleading.”

Purplebricks has already replaced the contents of its ads, and boss Michael Bruce said that he was “surprised” by the decision. “Prior to airing, our ads went through the proper approvals process, including official clearance body Clearcast who have continued to support their original judgment with the ASA.”

Shares of the company dropped by 7.4p to 344.4p.