What do you think of when you hear “The Most Popular Place to Find a Place”?

If you are familiar with Apartments.com advertising, you likely know it has used the “Most Popular” tagline to advertise. Owned by CoStar Group, Inc., Apartments.com is a rental site for those looking for a new place to live. 

But Zillow recently challenged CoStar Group’s advertising by bringing it before the National Advertising Division (NAD). 

Zillow’s Issue with CoStar Group’s Advertising

Just about every consumer looking to buy or sell turns to Zillow. But what about those looking to rent? 

Zillow recently announced updates to its rental search features and Rental Hub app, aiming to help more renters save money and stress utilizing their app. Due to housing affordability, more people are renting, even with asking rents increasing to new heights. And it’s clear that Zillow wants to take majority share of the rental market. 

So it makes sense that Zillow has an issue with Apartment.com’s “Most Popular” slogan. 

Ruling from the National Advertising Review Board

After Zillow brought the challenge to the NAD, the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommended that CoStar Group, Inc. discontinue the claim “The Most Popular Place to Find a Place.” The panel also suggested making it clear the advertising is only directed to the rental market. 

Here is a breakdown of the panel decision:

  • The NARB panel determined that Apartments.com’s “Most Popular” tagline is a subjective standard. Because CoStar Group does not have consumer research to support its message, the panel recommended the tagline be discontinued. 
  • The panel noted that the advertiser could make a properly supported claim that specifies the specific data point, such as “most unique visitors.”
  • The NARB panel also concluded that references to Apartments.com should convey advertising is directed to the rental market. When referring to “find a place” or comparable phrases, advertising should include at least one reference (written or visual) to renters or renting. 

CoStar Group stated that while it respectfully disagrees with the panel’s ultimate conclusions, it will accept all of the panel’s recommendations. 

The home page of Apartments.com now reads, “Helping 100 million renters find their perfect fit.”