2008-07-18 / Letters

Shapiro's 'Corner' Is An Ad

Dear Editor,

You are doing your readership a great disservice by allowing this Realtor to dispense her advice and market commentary from your pages without properly identifying it as a part of a paid advertisement. Her ill informed and self serving pronouncements are nothing more than lame attempts to promote her business at the expense of your paper's editorial integrity. I understand the economics of the print new business are not what they once were, and I see that Ms. Shapiro has a large advertisement in your paper every week. I know it is customary for papers now to do these type of give back to their best advertising customers, your "spotlight on business" column is a great example of how this can be done without compromising the integrity of the paper, Ms. Shapiro's babbling is a great example of the wrong way to do it. You've given a platform to a self-proclaimed expert, who has a huge financial interest in talking up the real estate market and giving self serving advice to consumers. By not clearly identifying that advice as bought and paid for by Ms. Shapiro, you are tacitly endorsing it, and lending your journalistic reputation to it.

Ms. Shapiro's most recent comments that the housing market improved in May is a great example of her misuse of the forum you've so generously and foolishly granted her. The use of the statistic that more houses were sold in May than in April as the basis for this claim is completely misleading. More houses are sold in May than April every year, just like more Christmas Trees are sold in December than November. Misuse of these seasonal numbers by the Realtors is a common tactic to obscure the fact that it's a terrible time to buy a house right now, and that anything you buy will almost certainly be worth less 6 months from now. Ms. Shaprio goes on to mention that sales are down considerably from the same month last year, and that prices have declined considerably as we, these are the important facts, and should not be obscured by the self deluded cheerleading of this disingenuous real estate professional.

Please add a large and clearly written disclaimer to Ms. Shapiro's advertisement identifying it as such. I suggest the following; "The following statements are a paid advertisement brought to you by Robin Shapiro, they do not in any way represent the opinion's of The Wave's Editors."

You will be doing a better service to our community.

BRIAN McCAFFREY

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As a legal professional, I couldn't agree more. I mentioned this to Sandy Bernstein that the Shapiro ad gives the appearance of professional advice, when her credentials are unknown and her opinion is nothing more than self-serving puffery. For all we know, Ms. Shapiro attended a one day class to get her license and knows nothing more about real estate than how to make a buck for herself. Irene Brunstein


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