ASA clears Rightmove over “every second” ad complaints

Mark Johnson's picture

Three complaints about a Rightmove ad campaign that ran on the London Underground have been rejected by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Two posters on the London underground claimed that every second someone contacts an estate agent about a property they’ve seen on the Rightmove website.

The first poster, seen on 26 May 2019, included the text “Every second someone in the world gets married and every second someone contacts an estate agent about a home on Rightmove”.

The second poster, seen on 17 June 2019, included the text “Every second a bee flaps its wings 230 times and every second someone contacts an estate agent about a home on Rightmove”.

"Every second" claim challenged 

According to the ASA, the three complainants challenged whether the claim “every second someone contacts an estate agent about a home on Rightmove” was misleading and could be substantiated.

Rightmove said that in its published annual report of 2018, it referenced the total number of leads that were sent to estate agents in that year. 

The leads consisted of email and phone enquiries made either electronically via the Rightmove website or apps or using one of the trackable phone numbers provided on each Rightmove property listing. 

Rightmove clarified that there were 31.5 million seconds in a year and that it received 42 million leads in a year which amounted to 1.3 enquiries per second.

The ASA said it considered that consumers would understand the claim “every second someone contacts an estate agent about a home on Rightmove”, to mean that the number of times estate agents were contacted about homes listed on Rightmove was equivalent to once every second. 

The ads featured the claim alongside similar claims such as “every second someone in the world gets married” and it considered that consumers would interpret them to be objective claims. 

Complaint not upheld 

“We understood that the figure was based on the total number of enquiries estate agents received about Rightmove’s property listings in 2018”, the ASA said in its ruling. 

“That equated to 1.3 enquiries every second over a year. We considered those figures were sufficiently robust as the basis for the advertising claim. 

“We therefore concluded that the claim in ads (a) and (b) had been substantiated and was not misleading.

“We investigated ads (a) and (b) under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation), but did not find them in breach.”

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