An online advert for a management service for Airbnb hosts was banned today after a compliant by a rival.

The Facebook ad for Airsorted featured the claim “The world’s largest management company for Airbnb and more”.

This triggered a challenge from competitor Hostmaker which questioned whether the claim was misleading and could be substantiated as well as being verifiable.

The advertising watchdog upheld the complaint and ruled that Airsorted should “ensure that future ads did not make claims by comparison with identifiable competitors, unless they possessed robust documentary evidence, and that such comparisons were verifiable”.

The ASA considered that the claim ‘The world’s largest management company for Airbnb and more’ would be interpreted by consumers to mean that Airsorted were the largest company in the world to offer the service of Airbnb management, by way of the most properties managed around the world.

“We noted that Airsorted stated that they managed more properties in total than their competitors. However, because Airsorted had not provided any evidence to demonstrate that was the case, we concluded that the claim was misleading,” the ASA said.

Airsorted argued that it used the term “world’s largest” because it operated in more cities and more countries than its competitors.

The company also said that based on publicly available information from competitors, it managed more properties overall.

The information was verifiable on both its own and competitors’ websites, it claimed.