The Illinois Real Estate License Act prohibits “blind advertisements,” i.e. ads that do not contain the name of the broker licensee that placed the ad.
The Act also provides that “Advertising shall be considered misleading or untruthful if, when taken as a whole, there is a distinct and reasonable possibility that it will be misunderstood or will deceive the ordinary purchaser, seller, lessee, lessor, or owner.”
The above ads inviting you to schedule a showing at the new Jones Chicago apartments create a clear expectation that you’ll be connected to the building’s website. They connect you instead to the website of Luxury Living Chicago, one of the rental services on YoChicago’s do-not-call list.
If you’ve been searching for a new apartment, you’re likely to see these ads and similar ads for other buildings on a number of the sites you visit. They’re something new, and they’re insidious in that they divert traffic from building websites and undermine the effectiveness of building advertising by confusing renters about who they’ll reach when they click on an ad.
The State of Illinois has been totally ineffective at policing rental service ads. I’m hopeful that the apartment buildings will step up on behalf of renters and put a stop to this type of misleading advertising. If they don’t, you can expect to see a lot more of it.
Update 3/3/15: These specific deceptive Luxury Living ads for buildings appear to have stopped.
Update 3/9/15: The deceptive ads have returned.