Commisery for Purplebricks as advertising watchdog demands changes to misleading online agent’s TV adverts

Two ‘commisery’ TV adverts for Purplebricks must not be broadcast again in their original form after the advertising watchdog ruled that they did not make it sufficiently clear that sellers pay a fee whether their property sells or not.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the fact that the fee was always payable was material information which would allow consumers to make an informed decision about using Purplebricks. It described the original advertising as “misleading”.

Purplebricks will now have to ensure that it points out that the fee must always be paid in all future advertising which compares its offering to other fee models.

The ASA received 38 complaints about two ‘commisery’ adverts.



The complaints were prompted by two TV adverts seen in March.

A total of 37 complainants challenged whether the adverts misleadingly implied that Purplebricks did not charge a fee.

The ASA said that consumers might not always understand that the fee was payable, regardless of whether the property sold or not. The ASA said that the advertising was misleading.

This once again raises our favourite question ‘How many homes does Purplebricks sell? So far Purplebricks has always chosen not to answer this question, despite the fact that according to CEO Michael Bruce “Purplebricks is firmly on the side of the consumer

Our own experiance is that PurpleBricks take money upfront, put the property on line and then do nothing thereafter. If thepropery does not sell then you still have to pay. We have have many instances of sellers with Purplebricks having no support in progressing sales - and why should Pirlplebricks  bother? Unlike most high Street agents they already have been paid. 

If you want a service that really supports the consumer during the whole house buying and selling proces then use a high street agent. You can pop in to see them when you need support filling in solicitors forms, help with survey issues and for general updates. You just cant get that level of service with an online pay upfront service.