False or misleading advertising. Florida law prohibits licensees from placing or causing to be placed any advertisement for property or services that is fraudulent, false, deceptive, misleading, or exaggerated. This includes written ads as well as ads on television or radio that are used to induce the sale, purchase, or rental of real property.

Penalties. False, deceptive, fraudulent, or misleading advertising can result in administrative fines and license suspension.

Blind advertising. Florida law requires that all advertisements include the brokerage’s licensed name so any reasonable person would know the ad is from a real estate licensee. The broker’s nickname may be included in the advertising as long as his or her legal registered name is also included. The broker’s personal name may also be included in the ad as long as the broker’s last name as it is registered with the DBPR is included. Ads that do not include the brokerage’s name are considered blind advertising and are prohibited.

Sales associates advertising or conducting business in own name. Brokerage services include advertising. Consequently, anyone placing advertisements must be a broker. Sales associates may create or place advertisements only under the supervision and in the name of their employing broker. Sales associates may not advertise in their own names. Any form of advertising created by a sales associate must include the brokerage’s licensed name.

Team advertising.  Teams within a brokerage firm may advertise only under the supervision of the broker and in the name of the brokerage firm. Certain words, namely “brokerage,” “realty,” and the like, are not allowed as potentially creating confusion for the public. The name of the team must be in a font that is no larger than that used for the name or logo of the registered broker.

Wording of advertisements           

In addition to including the brokerage’s name, real estate advertisements must be worded so that any reasonable person knows that the advertiser is a real estate licensee. They may not be worded in a way that makes the public believe the ad is from someone other than a real estate licensee.

Internet advertising    

Just as with any other form of advertising, the brokerage’s name must appear within an internet advertisement. Florida administrative rule requires the name to be placed adjacent to, immediately above, or immediately below the point of contact information. Again, this prevents blind advertising and any related penalties.

Point of contact information. Information on how to contact the brokerage firm or the individual licensee is referred to as “point of contact information.” Such contact information includes mailing address, physical street address, e-mail address, telephone number, and facsimile (fax) telephone number.

Telephone solicitation laws         

Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) addresses the regulation of unsolicited telemarketing phone calls. Rules include the following: