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Marsh & Parsons forced to pull another tube ad after outcry

Posters featuring bald man and humorous headline hit the wrong spot with alopecia sufferers and hair loss groups on social media.

Nigel Lewis

estate agency

Estate agency Marsh & Parsons has pulled its latest tube advert after an uproar on social media among those who suffer from alopecia.

The ad was spotted on the London tube network but began trending for all the wrong reasons after alopecia sufferers on Twitter and Facebook began criticising its creative thrust.

This shows the back of a man’s head with a visible bald patch in part covered by a comb-over. Written in large text at the top, the advert says: “An important central skylight creates a bright and airy living space”.

But the humorous tone of the estate agency advert, which is part of a long-running campaign by the agency, missed its mark among hair-loss and alopecia groups.

“There is nothing funny about this AD whatsoever…the marketing person/department should be given a formal warning!” said one man on Twitter.

Another asked: “So no one [looked] at this through the entire process of creating the ad.”

Follicle challenge

The comments were virulent enough to persuade Marsh & Parsons to pull the ad, which it has promised will now not be repeated.

The company has form with these kinds of adverts and this is the third to ‘go viral’ on social media.

But some are just glorious copy. Soon after the General Election the ad featured a picture of Theresa May with the strapline ‘Semi-detached, awaiting planning permission’.

In its annual report late last year the agency claimed its cheeky ads helped it win market share and increase brand awareness during 2019 and that 62% of those quizzed during research sessions remembered the campaign.

Read more about Marsh & Parsons.

 

February 10, 2020

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