A Marsh & Parsons ad featuring an older man being embraced by a younger woman has sparked a critical online campaign and is to be taken down by the company.
The advert (see right) on London Underground, which features the copy line ‘A charming period property with a modern extension’ has prompted a string of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority and prompted an online ‘backlash’, although the comments were a mixture of both revulsion and humour (see below).
“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,” David Brown, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, told The Evening Standard.
“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 Advertising Standards Authority says it has received six complaints about the advert so far which, given most complaints about agent advertising garner just a single complaint, indicates the level of public anger about the post ad.
The advert is one of a series, all of which feature humour and word play and that, until yesterday, had attracted mostly praise on online, including one picture of a man (see left) with a high haircut and the strapline “A modern apartment available. High Barnet”.