vBulletin version: 3.8.7
On the forumdisplay.php page, in the Moderation drop-down menu at bottom of thread list, add a new option for moderators: Remove duplicate ads
When this option is selected, then the following things happen to the selected posts:
1. Each selected topic title is changed to: [Duplicate Ad Removed]
2. The contents of the 1st post (inc attachments) in each topic is wiped out and replaced with a message in bold: "Sorry, your duplicate ad was removed." (this should be an editable phrase in admin)
3. All replies (if they exist) on each thread are soft-deleted
4. Each topic is closed - it may be closed already, so script should check this
That's it. A pretty straight forward alternative to soft-deleting the threads. We are thinking that, for a skilled vBulletin coder, this shouldn't take more than 2 hours of time and therefore the price should be comfortably under $100. Please let us know your best price, we do have other plugins after this that need to be coded.