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'Sleazy' estate agency advert removed after sexism furore

LSL-owned London estate agency Marsh & Parsons has removed what one Twitter users called a ‘sleazy’ advertisement, following a row over its alleged sexism.

The advertisement, currently being assessed by the Advertising Standards Authority, shows a younger woman with an arm over the shoulder of an obviously older man and has the caption: ‘A charming period property with a modern extension.’

A statement by the agency’s chief executive David Brown, made to the London Evening Standard, says: "Marsh & Parsons has a recent history of tongue-in-cheek advertisements that compare people to property and reflect that the range of people we work with are as diverse as the types of properties we sell and let.

"We have always tried to get our message across with a gentle sense of humour and up until now, our work has been extremely well-received. We have featured a varied mixture of men and women across various cultures and ages and have never sought to alienate or insult anybody.

"The campaign, created by a team of men and women, is designed to be thought-provoking and to prompt conversation, but it was not our intention to cause offence. It would appear that this particular advert - taken apart from the rest of the campaign - has done so and we will be taking steps to remove it as a result."

The advertisement caused a storm on Twitter with different social media users saying it was sexist, vile, and old fashioned.

Referring to Marsh & Parsons’ estate agency of the year award in 2016 one tweet said: “Think their website's wrong. Should say ‘UK Estate Agency of the Year' 1976’.” Another said the advertisement showed “Estate agents living up to their ghastly/sleazy image.”

Judge for yourself with the advertisement, which can be seen as part of the Standard article here.

  • Mike Lewis

    RIP the British sense of humour.

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    Maybe, but you can see why people have complained. When M&P came up with this I'm sure they were aware it was likely to cause a bit of a rumpus with some people...

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Holy shit- people's reaction to this is far more concerning than the advert itself. Especially the muppet saying it would be fine with the roles reversed- you seriously posted that as a public message? They have been running this campaign for ages and I think it is a stroke of genius. Personally I would have left it where it was- sometimes people talking about an ad is as important as the ad itself.
    Steve Hughes addresses this best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceS_jkKjIgo

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