Trade Me wins at advertising authority review

Online auction site Trade Me has won a challenge to a competitor's advertising after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld its complaint.

Online auction site Trade Me has won a challenge to a competitor's advertising after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld its complaint.

The ASA's complaints board (ASCB) was told that Exchange Point was claiming to be New Zealand's most "successful online marketplace". However, Trade Me produced figures from online ratings firm Red Sheriff that showed Exchange Point had overstated its traffic by a factor of three says Trade Me co-founder Sam Morgan.

"The advertisements alleged that [Exchange Point] had 100,000 unique visitors and over 5 million page views per month. By contrast Red Sheriff audited information from the same period showed the actual numbers to be 34,825 unique visitors and 700,525 page views".

Trade Me was the second busiest online publisher in the same period, just behind XtraMSN, with 385,558 unique visitors.

Morgan says another key measure - page views - showed Trade Me was nearly 20 times larger during June.

Red Sheriff's general manager Mark Ottaway says the ruling is a vindication of the need for a transparent, open standard in web ratings.

"The numbers are there for all to see, it's open and above board and that means it works."

Morgan says that if online commerce is to progress in New Zealand, claims about web traffic need to be correct and verified by independent means.

"I am delighted by the ASCB’s decision. We hope our competitors will think twice before quoting inaccurate figures."

Exchange Point is run by ACP Media. General manager Lee Williams did not immediately return Computerworld Online calls.

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