Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Highland Titles Continue Misleading Advertising After ASA Ruling

Back in July 22nd this year Highland Titles were found by the Advertising Standards Authority to be misleading consumers by advertising land for sale in Glencoe, when the plots are not actually in Glencoe but some miles away on Keil Hill in Duror, with no connection to Glencoe at all.

So after the July ruling , they'll have stopped running the adverts then? Well in true Highland Titles tradition of sticking two finger up at the ASA, sadly no.

We archived this Google search result advert on 10 September 2015, which read "Buy a Piece of Glencoe -‎".

Google search advert from 10 September 2015

We were reminded of this when recently looking through the Glencoe Community Council meeting minutes where we find a local resident informed the Glencoe Community Council that Highland Titles were continuing to run these misleading adverts well after the ASA ruling.
"The CC received an email from a resident relating to the BBC news item ‘Buy land in Glencoe adverts confusing, says ASA’. The resident complained that the ‘Glencoe’ advertising that the ASA had ruled misleading had only been withdrawn from the UK and was still running in other countries."
Why didn't we report this to the ASA then? No point. As mentioned by the resident, the adverts were withdrawn from the UK, but continued to be displayed in other countries. The ASA have no remit to do anything about non UK targeted advertising, so they can do nothing about it, even though they have already judged the adverts misleading.

So in order to comply with the ASA ruling, Highland Titles merely withdrew the misleading adverts from UK consumers, but continued to run them in foreign markets, secure in the knowledge that the ASA are powerless to do anything about it.

The BBC ran a story on the ASA ruling at the time and reported that "Highland Titles Ltd said it had not intended to mislead customers". Their continued use of the advert targeting overseas customers seems to contradict that. If continuing to run these adverts isn't clearly an intention to mislead, perhaps Highland Titles would care to comment on what the intention actually is?

Would a reputable organisation with any moral standards continue to run adverts they know are misleading, and have been independently judged to be misleading to anybody at all?
We don't think so either, but that's the traditional Highland Titles way of conning people out of their money.

One wonders what other guff and nonsense Highlamd Titles might be serving up to overseas consumers knowing that there is little that can realistically be done about it. Honesty and integrity were never Highland Titles strong points.

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