Industry governing body slams CREA’s ‘over-promising’ ad

by Ephraim Vecina31 Aug 2016
In a recent ad (link:, the Canadian Real Estate Association highlighted the central role that a REALTOR® plays in making sure that a client ends up in a desirable neighbourhood—by showing the difference between working with a Realtor and not doing so as the difference between living in a peaceful locale and residing in the home turf of an intimidating biker gang.

Advertising Standards Canada was not amused, and slammed the advertisement as an example of misguided messaging, CBC News reported.

“Council recognized that the commercial was intended to make the public aware that Realtors in general possess expertise that ordinary buyers do not,” the industry governing body wrote in its decision to reprimand CREA. “However, Council found that this execution over-promised what a buyer’s Realtor customarily delivers, and, therefore, was misleading.”

“[There] was no evidence that both buyers’ and sellers’ agents assume the same degree of responsibility to become thoroughly knowledgeable about the social or less desirable aspects of the neighbourhood,” Advertising Standards Canada stated.

CREA officials expressed bafflement at the decision, noting that the humorous tone of the ad does not undermine the central message: A would-be buyer is better protected because of a Realtor's expertise and knowledge.

“It just doesn't make sense: the nature of their business is they work with both buyers and sellers,” CREA vice-president of government and public relations Randall McCauley said.

“You can't be an expert one day and know a lot of information and then the next day, just because who you're representing changes, you all of a sudden don't know anything,” he added.

“In one sense, they admit that the ad makes sense, and then in another sense they sort of say, ‘well, we don't think it does.’ And that conclusion is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the business.”

McCauley maintained that CREA has no plans of revising the ad, and will push through in airing it by fall.


  • by Alister 8/31/2016 12:17:09 PM

    Well done CREA on your stand.
    You have to wonder at the logic and double standards
    of the advertising watchdog, it's amazing how
    a bunch of Polar bears drinking coke from bottles is
    perfectly ok in the Coca Cola advertisement, but they think
    the CREA ad is misleading!

  • by 8/31/2016 12:45:18 PM

    CREA has posted many ads that make our potential clients look like idiots. I have been in business for many years, and have posted funny ads
    to draw attention. They have been making fun of my business, not my clients. I AM SURE THE PUBLIC DOES NOT LIKE TO SEE THEMSELVES AS FOOLS.
    I believe the public has access to information they can use to buy or sell a property by themselves. Our profession is to respect their knowledge and use it to guide them to find the best property available that suit their needs. When acting as a listing Agent it is our job to market the property in its best light, to bring the most Buyers to the front door, co-operate with Buyer Agents and their clients in an honest
    and reputable manner and see that both Seller and Buyer are satisfied with the result.

  • by Jim, Ontario 8/31/2016 1:05:01 PM

    Doesn't surprise me. Maybe they should be more concerned about "ALL" ads regarding the soft drink companies. They show how comsuming "their pop" makes you cool and refreshed. The truth is soft drinks are a "BIG" reason we have obesity, decaying teeth. It weakens the immune system allowing cancer cells to activate. Obviously they have the time. Rather than crucifying the already over regulated Real Estate industry . Sincerely Jim (just saying).

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