North Horsham developer instructed ‘not to exaggerate’ its experience by advertising watchdog

Land were 2,500 homes and a new business park could be built  north of the A264.
Land were 2,500 homes and a new business park could be built north of the A264.

The developer behind proposals for 2,500 homes and a new business park north of Horsham has been told ‘not to exaggerate the experience of the company’ in a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Liberty Property Trust sent a leaflet to 12,000 houses in the town outlining the project in December 2013.

However a member of the public complained to ASA, the UK independent advertising regulator, over whether six claims made in the flyer ‘were misleading and could be substantiated’.

In a report released earlier this week four of the complaints were not upheld by the ASA, but two were upheld.

In the adjudication’s summary the ASA said: “The ad must not appear again in its current form.

“We told Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd to ensure they held sufficient evidence to substantiate their claims in future, and that they did not exaggerate the experience of the company.”

One of the statements made by the developer was that ‘Liberty Property Trust has a long and successful history of large-scale community development both in the US and UK’.

The ASA found this claim breached the Committee of Advertising Practice Code regarding misleading advertising, substantiation, and exaggeration.

Liberty argued that its use of community ‘encompassed broader definitions of the word’, as they were involved in developing business, scientific, mixed-use, residential and office communities.

The scheme is currently included in the Horsham District Planning Framework Proposed Submission.

To view the full ruling see ASA’s website.