Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Estate agents backtrack over sexist tube ad comparing a woman to a house extension

Sexist tube ad.JPG

This week has shaped up to resemble a time warp in terms of sexism: the day after Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon were plastered across the cover of a tabloid with a headline asking us to forget Brexit and compare their legs, a London tube advert comparing a woman to a house extension is doing the rounds on Twitter. 

Estate agents March & Parsons produced a poster in which a young woman is pictured draped over an older man with the caption “A charming period property with a modern extension.”

Beyond the fact that the picture is sleazy in its composition, the text has reduced her to a subordinate, an accessory.

Read more: Women stage protest after man slams commuter for doing her makeup on the tube

Twitter user Sam Missingham summed it up pretty perfectly when she shared a photo of the ad from Baker Street tube simply captioned: “Yuk”.

An onslaught of further posts pointed out how out of date the chauvinistic and archaic sentiment is, with one user saying: “Some people with actual degrees and proper suits sat round a table and all agreed on that. We’re doomed.”

While another pointed out “How did @MarshandParsons estate agents miss 2nd half of 20th c & 21st [century]?”


Plus, plenty of female users pointed out the obvious fact that they are house buyers in their own right.

The agency has now agreed to take down the ads and the Advertising Standards Authority is assessing six complaints about the advert, according to The Evening Standard. However, in a statement to The Telegraph, the agency isn’t exactly owning up to failing to respect women, equality or the fact it’s 2017, nor have they apologised.

Just like the Daily Mail’s May-Sturgeon cover’s caption, they’ve justified the ad’s sexist line as “tongue-in-cheek” humour.

David Brown, chief executive of Marsh & Parsons, told the publication: “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.”

Read more: Commuters are furious about this controversial advert: “it’s sexist bulls**t”

“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,' he added.

He also explained that the campaign featured a “varied mixture of men and women across various cultures and ages”, and they “never sought to alienate or insult anybody”.

“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,” he added.

Image: Courtesy Sam Missingham



This ‘penis seat’ is being used to highlight sexism on Mexico’s Metro


London commuters are furious about this controversial advert

lunch time workers2.jpg

One in five Londoners are too scared to take a lunch break


Thought-provoking illustrations reveal hidden secrets of strangers

The artist was met with “unexpected confessions”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

The most annoying Tube habits, as ranked by irritated Londoners

“Could you move down, please?”

by Amy Swales
22 Aug 2017

These are the main reasons relationships end, according to a new study

...and the reasons couples stay together

by Megan Murray
22 Aug 2017

The new Great British Bake Off might be OK after all

The first episode has not bombed, we repeat: it has not bombed

by Amy Swales
22 Aug 2017

Woman claims she was fired for leaking during a heavy period at work

“Every woman dreads getting period symptoms when they're not expecting them, but I never thought I could be fired for it.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

Women football fans forced to show bras while being searched at match

Add this to your list of ‘things that are definitely not OK’

by Moya Crockett
22 Aug 2017

This prosecco advent calendar will have you waving goodbye to summer

We're suddenly very excited about Christmas

by Megan Murray
22 Aug 2017

Heartfelt letter on coping with an anxious partner goes viral

“Anxiety isn't a one size fits all, it isn't consistent and it isn't always easy to tell”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
22 Aug 2017

Why India banning instant divorce is a major victory for women

India’s Supreme Court has ruled against triple talaq, which allowed Muslim men to instantly divorce their wives.

by Moya Crockett
22 Aug 2017

Jennifer Aniston really isn’t happy about *that* Friends fan theory

She’s decided to put an end to the rumours, once and for all

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Aug 2017