2 Real Estate Groups at Odds Over Ad Practices

December 22, 2011

The REALTOR® Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Miami Association of REALTORS®, accusing MAR of “false and deceptive advertising” and “unfair competitive practices” that was steering new members away from RAGFL. 

The two REALTOR® associations compete for members in the same areas of the state, according to the lawsuit. 

RAGFL claims in the lawsuit that its association has faced financial losses after an advertising campaign by MAR tried to divert members from RAGFL to MAR. For example, RAGFL alleges that an MAR postcard suggested that RAGFL charges members for a service that MAR doesn’t and that RAGFL "requires members to pay $35 for education while MAR does not," HousingWire reports. RAGFL also questioned the accuracy of an MAR ad that reportedly stated 700 members transferred to MAR from RAGFL.

"We strongly deny the allegations and will vigorously defend the lawsuit," Teresa King Kinney, MAR’s CEO, wrote in a statement to its members.  "We are always accurate, ethical, and professional in all of our business practices, including our advertising and promotion.”

Source: “Florida REALTOR Groups Clash Over Advertising Ethics,” HousingWire (Dec. 21, 2011)