Strutt & Parker pulls advertising campaign after complaints

Strutt & Parker has ditched an advertising campaign after criticisms – and apologised for any upset it caused.

The campaign was featured earlier this week by Eye, and was run by the firm in Notting Hill, London.

Yesterday afternoon, a spokesperson from Strutt & Parker said: “We are aware that we have encountered some negative feedback with regards to one of our local advertising campaigns in Notting Hill.

“This campaign was developed to reflect the amazing diversity and vibrancy of the Notting Hill area.

“To produce the advertising campaign we worked with three popular and local entrepreneurs who appeared in the adverts: a dance teacher, a chef and an interior designer.

“They are all real people just like our estate agents who work in Notting Hill.

“Our campaign was well intended and represented the various talents of people working in Notting Hill.

“We are obviously very sensitive to the response of people and it was never our intention to offend anyone. As a result we immediately withdrew the campaign.

“We would like to apologise for any upset this may have caused to anyone who has been affected by this.”

This is how Eye reported the campaign on Tuesday.

picture of the week 2

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20 Comments

  1. Peter

    I don't see it, you put people who happen not to match colour wise and assume racism. What I see on the left is a vibrant energetic chap full of enthusiasm and would have faith in his ability to dance; and on the right, someone who is calm and collected and has tremendous experience in selling property.

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  2. Ewan Foreman

    Personally, I think the dancer has the edge in terms of who is the most interesting!

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  3. Benay

    To be honest this says more about the offended than anything else. Perhaps if Chris or Henry are about they would care to explain their outrage. The most offensive thing I can see is incorrectly tailored trousers.

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    1. Chri Wood

      I wasn't offended in the least and 'got' the point I believe they were trying to make (choose the right person with the best skills for the job). However, like Henry, I suspect, I believe the advert was poorly judged and open to a negative interpretation. A point I tried to convey with a tongue in cheek comment.

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  4. Paul H

    I've been looking long and hard at that advert for a good 10 minutes and I still can't see what's so offensive. It looks like two men in their work attire. What's the problem?!

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    1. wilko

      Have to agree……unfortunately when this type of ad is found offensive it is those who are offended who are the racists in my opinion as it is them who have identified the colour of the two people…..not the company, ad designer or rest of the public. Me,like most others….. saw a dancer and an estate agent….that's all.

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      1. Paul H

        It's not as though you can stereotype black people as good dancers, some of my Caribbean friends are terrible dancers!

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        1. wils

          Ha Ha, Do you actually have any caribbean friends? If you do I expect they call you a **** behind your back.

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  5. wils

    If you look at the London staff profiles for Strutt & Parker there are over two hundred staff pictured. ALL TWO HUNDRED are white. Yet they choose to use a black man in their advert. It is lucky he was 'born to dance' because he would be highly unlikely to get a job with this company that claims to have a diversity policy.

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    1. Benay

      In 30 years I have never interviewed, a Black person, anyone from the near or far east, no-one from Africa, America, Canada or Wales. Not because I am xenophobic but because I could only interview those who applied for the jobs I had available.
      When you have evidence that Strutt and Parker have a discriminatory employment policy , pass the evidence to Ros who I am sure will investigate and if true publish the story. Until then cease with the rabble rousing and defamation.

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      1. Benay

        The world has gone mad! http://ind.pn/1qxFTtz

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      2. wils

        Where do Strutt & Parker advertise for their posts? The KKK journal? The evidence for Strutt and Parker is displayed on their website. How can a company, with its head office based in London, be all white in 2014. I expect they have black employees who were 'Born to clean' or 'born to cater' but I suppose they don't get their profiles on the Strutt & Parker website.

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      3. wils

        In 30 years you have never interviewed a black person? Have you ever spoken to one? Strutt & Parker seems to only employ white people to it jobs that get a profile on their website. It looks & comes across as a company that has a racist agenda. The chances of having an all white profile are probably about ten times that of winning the national lottery.

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    2. wilko

      "there are over two hundred staff pictured. ALL TWO HUNDRED are white"…..They employ nearly 700 people so be careful what you say. All companies should employ staff on ability and there is nothing to indicate that Strutt Parker don't do this….unless you know different. By actively distinguishing between colours and races you, yourself are showing racist tendencies, in my opinion. It is a bit like when Paul Boeteng and Bernie Grant were elected MP's. Some in the media referred to them as "Black MPs"……why weren't they just referred to as MP's just like other MP's?

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      1. wils

        So the ability to sell flats is a white thing? I am not showing racist tendencies by pointing out that a company seems to only employ white people. They are advertising it themselves on their website. There is a difference between racial awareness & racism. Bernie Grant was proud to be known as a Black MP. By saying people are only employed on their ability & they are all white says something about you.

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        1. Paul H

          Wils, Your going off on one hell of a tangent, there aint nothing racist about that advert above as far as I can see. I see a guy in a suit and another guy in a dance outfit, if your seeing anything different then I suggest you get yourself down to an opticians for an eye test.

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          1. wils

            I suppose you did not think apartheid was racist either? Even the photographer for the advert thought it had racist undertones. If you can not or will not acknowledge the racist aspects of the advert then you might need to open your eyes. If they had used a black person working in McDonalds & said 'Some people were born to fry burgers' would you see that as racist? I bet you notice the colour of someone's skin when they are walking behind you on a dark street.

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  6. Woodentop

    One wonders what would have happened had it been Tower Hamlets!

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  7. Lance Trendall

    Shame they pulled the advert when it was getting publicity and discussion going. They seem to have had a genuine campaign so I would have stuck with it. If I'd been the Strutt's employee I would have complained that I could sell more than flats, what about houses and bungalows too? An advert that gets so much attention is pure gold, does anyone remember the shocking Beneton adverts? I rest my case.

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    1. Peter

      Yes, what ever happened to them!

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