Looking like something straight out of the 1970s is the offensive piece of advertising by estate agents Strutt & Parker, as seen on the London Underground today. (UPDATE 21st Nov: The company have now pulled the adverts. Scroll down to the bottom for more info)
Apparently, in Notting Hill, black people are “born to dance”, whereas white people – particularly ones with the name Jeremy Montagu-Williams – are born to “sell flats.”
[Staff line up at Strutt & Parker’s Notting Hill office. I guess all the black folks are off dancing somewhere]
Although the concept of being created just to flog off upmarket flats is a pretty strange one, the suggestion that some black “folks” were born to dance really is a dire piece of racial stereotyping- the sort of crass generalisations I thought had been left behind decades ago.
To see it in advertising slapped all over the tube seems particularly shocking.
The advert was described as “utterly moronic racist nonsense” by a black historian friend, who added:
Speechless. I can flatline through a tsunami of BS from gollies to Morris dancers but this is from the most privileged slice of 20-35 yr olds in British history. They don’t give a flying fack about racism.
What do you think of this advertising?
Join in with the lively discussion on the urban75 forums or drop those white folk at Strutt and Parker a line and tell them directly.
[Photo © https://twitter.com/oscarwgrut]
UPDATE 21st Nov
Strutt & Parker pulls advertising campaign after complaints
“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”
88 Comments on ““Utterly moronic racist nonsense” – advertising by Notting Hill estate agents Strutt & Parker – UPDATE”
It’s depressing. Backwards. Just awful. Horrendous. How dare they?
I thought the same, but after sharing on facebook i was surprised at the amount of people who claimed it was in no way racist and that ‘creativity is a good thing’ in response to the ‘dancing’.
Some of these people were of mixed heritage and some were white, Interestingly all were under 30.
This either means society is no longer racist or it means that under 30s have been brainwashed into thinking they can’t be racially prejudice because they listen to Beyonce ?
It was amazing how many people were outraged I’d even asserted when I thought was at best an issue of heavy stereo typing and at worse something much much worse.
I bet most of the outraged are sanctimonious, labour-voting whites. Black and gay! The guy clearly needs protection from the do gooders. How very sad. Great ad Strutts. It has certainly done its job.
It was such a “great ad” that they’ve had to take it down and publicly apologise for its offensive content.
Do we know who the design agency behind this is?
i dont think there was every any racial intention behind this. Grow up and find something else to compalin about!
Do you work for Strutt & Parker, Charles? If so, instead of telling me to ‘grow up’ perhaps you could explain why such crass racial stereotyping was such a whizzo idea for your firm?
May I ask you directly Editor why you assume that Charles works for Strutt and Parker? It seems on your part that there is always a potential adgenda in anything someone writes. I think that it’s quite telling that the poster above (Joe) said that the response he got from friends on Facebook was quite firmly in the camp Charles seems to reside in – that there has been a somewhat skewed interpretation of the advert on your part. I am pleased by this as it shows a maturity in his peers that is unfortunately lacking in others. If you read my post below I think I’ve said all I need to on this.
Why do I assume that Charles works for Strutt and Parker?
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it was a hunch. Maybe it was instinct.
Or maybe it’s because he was posting from their office. 😀
Curiously enough, he’s not the only estate agent adding comments insisting that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this advert. Funny, that.
Well i’m not an estate agent and i don’t find anything wrong with it. !
The problem with this advert is that it is saying that somehow standing in a suit, and being “born” to be an estate agent is somehow “better” than being born to dance. it has an air of almost ridiculing the guy dancing. Making the Estate agent “Better than”. Unfortunately Black people have a massive history of being ridiculed by white people and being told that white people in general are better. This is where a lot of the problem lies. It still goes on today and people have not forgotten what happened only a few years ago. (Yes I’m talking about the slave trade and the aftermath of it. It happened and whether we like it or not it has left repercussions.) The ad is insensitive and not well thought out. Most people won’t see the problem, as most of us like to think that the constant subliminal message of white being better doesn’t exist. But it does and it is happening all the time. Whatever the intention was behind this ad it had stirred a lot of feelings in people that are justifiably there. The people behind this ad should be aware of and acknowledge it.
Please explain how this advert is racist? I see two people with two different professions, one of whom seems to be black and the other white. Until you pointed out that there was a black person it hadn’t even occured to me that there was anything racist, and quite frankly I still can’t. If the poster is to be believed the chap in it is an art director at a local dance school, which a little search on the internet has confirmed (http://www.portobellodance.org.uk/artistic-director/), rather than take the advert for what it is, a simple portrail of different passions and skill sets in two individuals, the editor has decided that it is racist! Utter nonsense!
FYI, I’m quoting a black historian in the title. And I see his point.
At best it’s crass and clumsy stereotyping, at worst it’s racist, although I’d agree it’s not intentional – just stupid and insensitive.
I’m afraid that you’ve not explained adequately on what basis you find this advert racist. Simpy repeating the same thing over and over is not a particularly persuasive technique should someone hold opposing views. Please explain in detail why you see that skin colour needs to play a role in this advert in the form you insist it does. In addition, please provide evidence that black dance directors are commonplace enough for it to even be a stereotype. FYI – Oxford Dictionary definition of sterotype: “A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” I’m not entirely sure we are yet at that juncture where we can realistically apply this, although hopefully we are not too far off.
Christ, if you can’t see why this is racist, you need a history lesson.
You never heard the old racist trope that black people have good rhythm? Or noticed that historically the only avenues open to black people as careers were entertainment or sport, due to racism in other career areas? What do they teach you young people at school nowadays. It’s certainly not social history.
The only problem Ade is that we don’t live in the past, we live in the now and the now is that people from all backgrounds are able to enter any field of work regardless of skin colour. It could have been any person in any job description in the advert and in 2014 it should be able to be without projecting last century’s issues onto it. I’m sorry if you see that poster as racist, I just can’t agree with you on that point.
P.S. And thanks for labelling me young, if only that were true!
“…people from all backgrounds are able to enter any field of work regardless of skin colour”…yet in the famously multiracial area of Notting Hill the entire staff of Strutt & Parker are white.
Maybe being ‘born to be an estate agent’ has got something to do with being born into privilege, whereas the opportunities for inner city black kids are far more restricted – something underlined succinctly in this awful advert.
If I was going to stereotype a dancer, I’d stereotype them as homosexual, not black. It seems to me that it would be more of a tragedy to preclude the dancer from appearing in the advertisement on the basis of his skin colour for fear of appearing racist, than for him to wilfully appear as a representative of the best in his field. Imagine thus:
Strutt and Parker: “We need a dancer for our advert.”
Portobello Dancer: “I’m the best in Nottinghill.”
Strutt and Parker: “Oh, we can’t use you because you’re black.”
I think I need to order in some more facepalms for this post.
I think you need to order in a counter argument first.
Why do they need a dancer in the first place? Are dancers necessary for advertising Estate Agents? No. So to characterise some sort of fictional selection angst for the role of dancer based on skin colour is ludicrous. Hence facepalms. The concept for the advert didn’t just drop from the heavens. For Strutt and Parker to produce this design and think ‘Hm, yep, I don’t see any issue with that’ in the context of a history of just such crude stereotypes – and in a society in which racism is still very much a part – suggests, at the very worst a total blindness to the world around them.
Meant to type very best there.
at last, someone with some sense.
I think it would have been more racist if the alternative skinned fella HAD been left off the poster, think about that one !!
Surprised that this has received such a reaction, looks pretty innocent to me. Most importantly I don’t believe for one second that it was created with any racial intent.
I don’t really consider this racist just because a black person is in the advert. It’s simply stating that the staff at that Estate Agent were born to sell flats. It’s equating a natural skill to be able to sell flats to a natural skill to be able to dance which is a bit odd but I don’t think it’s racist.
I think people are slightly confused over what racism means.
Black people with “natural skills” at dancing isn’t racist?!?
Last time I checked being a gifted dancer was something to proud of,not ashamed. Also how does one black person in an ad suddenly mean “all black people”?
Is that a serious comment?
At what point did I say “black people with natural skills to dance”? Please show me in my above post where I said that.
They are making the point that the man in the advert who is also an artistic director, so I would imagine is probably, naturally, a talented dancer to have got to that level was born to dance, in the same way that the estate agents at Strutt & Parker are natural sales people who were born to sell flats, which is why they are “so good” (in their opinion).
I don’t particularly like the advert but it’s not racist. I think it’s racially degrading that you think he is being exploited for the colour of his skin, rather than a human who is at the top of his game.
You said it in your initial post.
again, no I didn’t. Please read a sentence properly. I made a point it’s not racist because it has a black person it. I then said they are equating a natural ability to dance that the dancer most likely has, due to the level he is at. Skin colour, nothing to do with it.
The pure fact that most people who get to that level within a career that involves skills such as dance, singing, playing an instrument, becoming a professional footballer, an artist, an illustrator, a maths genius, a poet, normally are born with a natural talent.
I can’t debate further with you as you don’t read points properly, therefore your points become redundant.
I do however respect you feel differently and that’s a good thing, but I would rather you quote me on what I actually said.
Interesting that you claim to be a photographer, yet your visual literacy skills are zero.
I dont find this racist at all.
Coming from a national company, it clearly wasn’t created with any racial intent, that would just be incredibly stupid. If the dancer had been a white female ballerina, would the advert have been considered sexist?
Way to miss the point, Cazz.
She didn’t miss the point. The editor missed the point of the ad. Quite frankly the dancer looks more cool and successful than the nerd selling flats. A ridiculous article.
I would like to make the point that I find your opinion that this is advert is racist, completely offensive! Why do you have to focus on the person being oppressed because he is black.
Why not focus on promoting black culture if you feel so passionately about it. Why can’t you write about the amazing things that are going on in Africa? Such as the booming tech industry in Lagos or the fact that 7 out of 10 of the fastest growing industries are taking place in Africa?
Or better still talk about a completely different culture? Why not look at serious topics such as the women being trafficked into prostitution in India? Not a black man who has agreed to be in an advert to promote our rich diversity and mixture of trades that we are able to excel in, in this country.
You are either ill educated in what racism is or just trying to stir a reaction to promote your own self. You would rather take a dig at an advert which promotes a dancer, and I make the point he is a dancer, not a black person being oppressed. Just simply a man who has got to the top of his game because he is talented. I make the point he did not succeed because he is black, he succeeded because he is a talented person.
The old, I’m offended that your offended passive aggressive switch. Its a nice try…
I think a lot of people missed the point. I think that may be because there is no point. you have no point. Your point is ridiculous. Had the dancer been white, what then? Had the estate agent been black and what then? There are no black people working in that office however why is that relevant if your point is stereotyping of people that are ‘born to dance’.
I think the fact that this stupid article was even written shows how uppity and narrow-minded people really are. Can’t you just take it for what it is. Strutt & Parker saying they were born to estate agent. Nothing more nothing less.
I love the way that all these property people like to stick together and can only argue by abusing anyone who found the racial stereotyping offensive.
Maybe that’s what comes from working in all-white office environments in one of the most diverse cities on the planet?
“uppity” really??? how many people in your office are on this now?
The only person who seems to think this is racist is the person who wrote the blog. Yet another example of a blogger trying to provoke a reaction.
Of course it’s racist and it’s offensive too. It says that ‘black folks’ are good for dancing (hey! those black folks sure have a sense of rhythm!) while those all-white smart folks at the estate agents are good for the real clever stuff. It’s like an advert from the 1970s.
Please tell me where it says ‘black folks’? You don’t happen to be the editors alter-ego do you?
It appears you are on your own here Mr.Editor.
p.s your picture has lines on it.
Maybe you’re not seeing it, but I’m sure seeing a lot of people liking this article and I’m seeing a lot of negative reaction elsewhere online too.
And just to clarify this: are you posting in an official capacity from Strutt & Parker here?
Take a look on Twitter and educate yourself: https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=struttandparker
I think it hilarious that this has been deemed “racist”. Strutt and Parker are clearly stating that Notting Hill is an area of London rich in culture and diversity, whilst being a popular place to live. If the dancer was white and the estate agent was black would we all be acting as hysterical about it? This stereotype is in your heads, not Strutt and Parker’s.
The advert may be trying to state that Notting Hill is an area of London rich in culture and diversity. but one place that definitely isn’t diverse in any way at all is the offices of Strutt & Parker.
138 staff. All white. In a city famously rich in culture and diversity.
If a Strutt & Parker had a black employee! Of over 200 profiles of London staff on their website ALL ARE WHITE! They claim to have a diversity policy but it obviously does not work. It looks to me if you have over 200 employees in London with profiles and all are white then you seriously should look at whether you are a racist organisation.
oh dear, look at the transparent deniers digging themselves a bigger hole! pathetic
it is racist and if you can’t see it then you are an estate agent or ignorant and quite plausibly both!!
It may not have occured to one or two of you but perhaps you are ingoring the possibility that there may be folks who are or want to be estate agents and happen not to be white? sigh.
For me it would have been a betteradvert if the white guy was the dancer.
As the definition of Racism is to treat people diffrently because of their race : you have to ask yourself about this advert and if it underpins sterotypes . its a personal choice for me…. 100% rascist…. im sure they didnt mean it!
Despite London being one of the most ethnically diverse cities on earth [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_groups_in_London] EVERY SINGLE PERSON of the 138 Street & Parker staff pictured on their website is white [http://www.struttandparker.com/offices/london-head-office/]
If it’s a black guy dancing it’s racist,
If it’s a girl dancing is sexiste,
And if it’s a white guy then someone, somewhere would be complaining about how it’s not representative. Truth be told, the writer of this article (apologies for my loose use of the term article) is fishing for some racial scandal where there is none. Turning a rather dull advert into a scandal through the injection of bile.
Morgan Freeman rightly said that the best way to stop racism, is to stop talking about it, and it’s articles like this that pumps our societies full with this hypersensitive concern that we are being politically incorrect.
As a black man, my blood boils at the though that throughout my life my achievements may have only been made possible due to the colour of my skin. The though that my employers and uni before them may have had the conversation of “he’s not the best, but he’s good and he ticks the diversity box” completely undermines everything I have worked towards on an academic level and on a career level.
Hear hear. Best comment on this page and far more articulate.
sockpuppets and estate agent mates galore!! pathetic
Lol! Yeah if only they just stopped going on about apartheid or segregation or the Holocaust it might have been sorted out a lot earlier! To me this ad is mind boggling. Ad guys are supposed to be some of the most culturally savvy people in the world. To miss how showing a black man as being ‘born to dance’ while a white man is born to handle the sophisticated business end of an expensive house sale is amazing. Like, even if they thought it, to vocalize it and then produce it and then PAY for it shows some balls. They don’t just pick a model, they pick the right model for the message so it’s difficult to believe that by picking a black male model they weren’t making a point of some kind. Now with that point being racial (it’s really improbable that given the racial history of the area and given the disparate model choices they weren’t trying to make an underlining point), then saying someone is BORN to do a certain thing as a black man (in this case dance like a jiggaboo) is so so wrong. Imagine the uproar if they said some Soho folk are born to wear dresses and had a picture of a clearly effeminate man prancing around in a tutu. Dave Chappelle said once have you ever heard something so racist you didn’t even get the opportunity to get mad, you could only say “wow, that was racist!”? I think I’m having one of those moments.
Seriously though does your blood actually boil at the suggestion that your achievements may not have been merited? Do you think it boils more than a hereditary member of the Bullingdon Club? Are you really that angry at yourself? Do you also get angry that 90% of black people in this country live in the poorest 10% of wards in the country? Listen let’s cut the crap and be honest. Your head is so skewed you’re not even thinking for yourself. You imagine that you are some original thinking ‘say it as it is’ bloke but in reality you’re scared. You even advocate denying talking about something even when you know it’s there. You would have shushed Martin Luther King, you know that right? You don’t want to bring up racism because you don’t want to bring up race. You don’t want to bring up race because you don’t want to bring up the fact that you’re black. You don’t want to bring up the fact that you’re black because you’re scared. Scared of being apart from part of society even when that part of society looks down on you. You sir are a sell out and I won’t sugarcoat it for you. You sold out for pats on the back on a message board. Cheap.
Either that or you’re not black and you’re just trolling. Either way keep dancing.
“The best way to stop racism is to stop talking about it”. ‘Mikael’, if you are really Black, I’ve nothing to say to you, my brother, except see you at the morgue or the lunatic asylum. Get help now, and find new friends other than public-school educated estate agents. Please…
Not racist. If the dancer were white and the estate agent black, would there even be this argument. I think not. The culture of Notting Hill embraces everything London as a whole stands for. 54% of London is now not ‘white british’ something ex-Etonian Boris Johnson is proud of. This is a legitimate and fantastic commercial, race row not-applicable.
If it was different it would be different. Genius observation.
If the culture of Notting Hill “embraces everything London as a whole stands for”, how do you feel about the culture of Strutt & Parker who are 100% white yet use a black person in their advertising?
And are you really so thick as to not understand why people may be offended by the heavy handed racial stereotypes being portrayed by this all white firm’s advertising?
This is a classic PR troll derailment from
Strutt & Parkers cronies to minimise the damage.
We see you. It’s damning that half of you are unaware of the history of an area like Notting Hill, deftly ignoring the past 70 years.
Notting Hill post WW2, like Brixton is steeped in Afro Caribbean community. These communities were not embraced and not long ago fought pretty damn hard post civil rights era ( some of your grand mummies and grand daddies who are still alive to ask) for basic dignity. For all these so called academically educated commentators, it beggars belief that you are unaware of the increasing divide between rich and poor today, the concern of super rich foreign investment in property leading to ‘upmarket’ luxury flats not at all targeting local indigenous communities who with the help of today’s coalition are set to be displaced as far away as the Outer Hebrides it would seem because they can no longer afford to live in the community they have had ties in for generations and have invested heavily in to make Notting Hill the oh so edgy playground for the new’ apathetic tenants who are by failing to show a little respect for their new areas rapidly ethnic cleansing all Greater London areas. The fact that the larger London community is in this debate politically- assuming you read beyond the Daily Mail entertainment pages or the The Times socialite page looking for that quintessential selfie, you would know this. Lol. I’m still laughing at the so called ‘unawareness’ of it all. Didn’t this same discussion happen when the film Notting Hill came out? Even the horsey Hugh Grant acknowledged the grave inauthenticity of the casting!
In these politically correct times, it would have been best to consider two different ethnic representatives. If the ad firm was stuck on the cringe crux of this ad given the continual history of white superiority in media and advertising, assuming S&P gave two tosses about what the existing working class and Afro Caribbean people in their area thought, but who needs to care? All that education and yet, when the ad went through 1st, 2nd and 3rd drafts plus consultancy with the client at no point did anyone think “guys, given what the area is known ethically for and given that for time memoria black people have been stereotyped as entertainers and given the fact that estate agents get a bad rap for being self- serving smug bastards, we could re- think the brief?”
I’m certain one of the fundamental aspects of study in advertising is RESEARCH to best understand key demographic targets, so let’s not play aloofness frankly.
So many recent outrageously outdated out of touch media events of late seem to lack a basic understanding of the ‘new found’ places that they have decided to uphold after years of dismissal and disdain, only interested in the potential of what it could become not what it actually was and is. The epitome of the worst kind of gentrifiers.
Your education has failed you all as you know not the history you descend from. There is no requirement to move on, eradicating the memory and legacy of those who lost their lives to have the multi racial communities you now enjoy, in the same way that there should be no moving on from the WW1 and WW2 war efforts frankly. Even asking that of any of our ancestors is incredibly disrespectful. What’s that saying ? “Never Forget”.
Ultimately, had the ad firm who clearly have a high end client base like S&P had of had a genuine openings interest to employ a varied demographic in their organisations( which surprisingly brings value to business studies have proven time and time again), perhaps allowing the odd ‘other’ to transcend cleaning duties, this mistake may never of had to have been made. ABSOLUTE MORONS.
Black people have been racially stereotyped throughout history as “dancing jigaboos”, who have nothing more to offer than to entertain. When you juxtaposition such an image with a white man in a suit, you may as well put the caption “born to rule”. Couple with such insensitive captions, then it is not surprising that many people of colour who recognise the historical context of such stereotyping are bound to take offence. I do not believe the estate agents set out to offend, but the fact that the advert is offensive to some should be carefully considered. Those who are unfamiliar with the consequences and negative effects of racial stereotypes should think before they comment. I am from the community of Notting Hill and have known Mark Eli the dancer in the picture for over 25 years. He is a brilliant dance teacher who has taught ballet for many years. The concept of the ad was ill-conceived, whilst I don’t believe there was racial intent behind it, I believe ignorance is what has led to this culturally insensitive advert.
Best way to deal with this is to report it to the advertising standards authority – http://www.asa.org.uk/Consumers/How-to-complain. Arguing with estate agents on this forum is futile – unfortunately many of them are born to be morally bankrupt.
This is not racist. It might have been if these people were not specific individuals. However, the dancer has a name (can’t make it out) and is an artistic director. Named is also the estate agent. Presumably they have both been paid and agreed to their images being used, so it is rather patronising to complain on their behalf. One might argue that it is racist to notice the colour of the dancer and retrofit the stereotype rather than take him face value as an artist of whatever ethnicity who was born in Notting Hill.
JohnM – agreed. I think its crazy that this is even considered to be racist. The dancer in the photo would have given his permission and no doubt was keen on the advertising in a prominent position paid for on his behalf by an estate agent. I think unlikely he would have have wanted to take part it if he deemed to be racist / stereotypical etc etc!!
I think if people actually stop and bother to read the advert and use a small number of their brain cells they will figure out its message, its not that deep or meaningful – either intended or unintended.
HZ, on your recommendation, I stopped and read and re-read the advert, and using my tiny allotment of grey matter I tried to figure out its message (beyond that pesky vomiting which just bruk out for no reason…). So tell me, HZ what is this message neither deep nor meaningful, that I’m missing? As a born dancer, I’m kinda slow with word-readin’, so feel free to use crayons (red, gold and green esp…)
Oh look – it’s another Strutt & Parker employee abusing anyone who finds their advert offensive.
So, dear editor, everyone who disagrees with your point of view works for Strutt and Parker? Gosh they must be very successful, employing half of London in that rate!
Once again, this is a poster with a *named* artist who gave his permission for the advertisement and who happens to be black. I cannot make out his name. But you took the pic and you can. Why don’t you contact him directly and ask him how he feels appearing in a ‘racist’ ad? He should be easy to trace.
you do know he can tell where the posts are coming from don’t you??? 😀
bang to rights
Of course the editor can tell where the posts are coming from. He (or she, I am not making gender assumptions) can easily contact me in my personal email address I have given.
Right. It took me the grand total of five minutes to find who the dancer is. It is Mark Elie, described as a local hero, artistic director of Portobello Dance. Why don’t you contact him and ask him how he feels about the racist ad he’s in? The website has a phone number and email contact http://www.portobellodance.org.uk/contact/
Really not the point. The point of any advert is to give a positive impression which relates to an identifiable concept. The fact that Mark Elie likes his face all over the underground regardless of context is irrelevant to me. The issue for me is what identifiable concept are Strutt & Parker tapping into. To me that is that one certain type of Notting Hill person (identifiable as a black man) is born to dance while another (a white male) is born to do the high level house selling stuff. I honestly don’t know if it was devilment or dumbness but the advert happens to tap into a pretty unfortunate theme that can reasonably be read as racist. Like I said if this advert was run in say Soho depicting an incredibly flamboyant drag queen wearing a tutu and saying some Soho folk were born to wear a dress, it would be reasonable to believe that the advert was homophobic whether intended to be or not. Add that to the fact that there were no openly gay employees in a company of nearly 200 staff and you have a reasonable basis for annoyance at the very least.
Illiterate and privileged mistake 1- to tell others what is and isn’t racist when you are not on the receiving end of said racism. FAIL
What next, telling is about your best black friend? Smh
What a load of old cobblers.
Is it just me, or does the dancer look like someone I’d rather talk to than the agent? I’d probably buy a flat from him over the monochromatic suit. The classist side strikes me as more archaic than the racism.
If you shuffle a pack of cards, pick two, and white one and a black one is drawn at random… That’s coincidence. Maybe they were the only two people who volunteered for the modelling job? In this day and age we should look at this advert and not even think about the intentional selection of individuals based on their skin colour. However, if this selection of models was intentional in order to portray a social class difference based on colour, then whoever came up with this is an idiot!
On this day and age? So historical association and racist symbolism is irrelevant “I’m this day and age”? Liberal nonsense.
The kindest possible interpretation in defence of these Strutt & Parker apologists is that they really, REALLY don’t and, more importantly, cannot ever see what all the fuss is about. They can’t. They never will.
There has never been and can never be anyone in their inner circle who is not of their phenotype and behaviour pattern. Their family, friends, loved ones, work colleagues (above all), even Facebook contacts all look, think, talk, and function in the same Anglophone, monied monoculture they experience as the global even cosmic norm. Racism can only ever effect them tangentially – at the point of annoyance. It is nothing to do with them at all. They are’nt racists – how can they be? They don’t know any Black people!! Never have. never will. Ergo they are not racist. Nothing to see here. The only racists are those calling them racist. Gottit.
Everybody beyond the uniformly Anglo-Saxon (oops, sorry Sanjay!) S&P family and their anony-mates can see this for what it is. Check Twitter – how many thumbs-up, S&P?. Also, I might be imagining this, but have they removed their London staff photos..?
I checked some more and Mark Elie, the dancer and “local hero” who appears in the ad, has put it up proudly on his Facebook Timeline. Why don’t you message him and ask him how he feels being associated with what you consider a ‘racist’ ad? https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1532945010250749&set=pb.100006057941824.-2207520000.1416508045.&type=3&theater
Or why don’t you message Jezza the flat seller on his facebook page and get his opinion??
The ad is offensive. Fact. Search ‘Strutt and Parker’ on twitter – https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&q=strutt%20and%20parker&src=tyah. Strutt, Parker and chums, please tell me I’m wrong.
Is there really a debate to be had? Why are we still wasting time trying to convince people that racism exists? If so called educated adults can’t see the elephant in the room despite being able to use modern technology to dispute racism then there is no hope. Everybody is entitled to their opinion but it remains an opinion. Fact is this is racist but acceptable to too many. Slavery was acceptable. The Holocaust was acceptable, apartheid was acceptable and this poster is acceptable in 2015. Acceptable doesn’t mean it’s not racist. The problem is some people really do believe they’re thinking, when in fact all they’re doing is re arranging their prejudices. If you don’t think this is racist you’re part of the problem. Let’s hope one day we find a solution.
I have only just seen this ad and I am totally speechless. It really is one of the most brainless and tacky ads I have ever seen. Is it meant to pass as witty and intelligent? I mean really is it? In what way is it meant to grab your attention in a positive manner? Surely that is the point of the ad right? To enhance the reputation and brand of a said Estate agent.
They might aswell have just put a floormop and cleaning bowl by the side of the dancer, at least that would have saved some from defending this “sick” and “racist” ad.
@struttandparker update, yes damage limitation being applied as they have been silent on twitter. Their ‘revenue has broken through the £100m barrier’.
We’re fed bucket loads of racism daily, immigrants go home is writ large all over msm. The poignancy of racism not being recognised in an advert is shocking but what makes it so much worse is those in the industry turn round and try to justify it. The threads show amazing tolerance from those who live with racism, against the stubborn dogmatism off those who live in the privilege of white supremacy. Of course the estate agents can’t see it they are part of the problem, they are not only racist but classist.
The blog threads are an incredible example of the application of semiotics and could be used as a study.
They move on now, brandishing Downing Street, using charity as a means of cleanse. Have they thought that one through, well we’ll see. Strutt and Parker are developing a catalogue of bad behaviour.