Few would deny that when it comes to advertising, sex sells. But while suggestive ads are an effective means of reaching out to buyers, that doesn't mean they are always appropriate.
Pushing the boundaries recently was real estate agent Diana Arvatescu, based in Calgary, Canad. She's caused a bit of a stir this week with the launch of a controversial new billboard ad that features herself striking a seductive looking pose, with the tantalizing promise of: "Let me take you home. It's gorgeous inside."
The ad, which is displayed on one of the city's busiest commuter routes, has become quite the talking point in the city this week, reports the Montreal Gazette, with many claiming that this kind of sales tactic is inappropriate for the real estate business, and some even labeling it "disturbing".
Mary Valentich, a social worker at the University of Calgary, said that the advert caught her by surprise when she first spotted it.
“It's a misguided effort to communicate selling houses—she’s selling herself and I don't think women need to do that," insisted Valentich.
She was backed up by Doug Firby of the Calgary Real Estate Board, who said that female realtors should be aware of the risks of advertising themselves in this way, adding that this was against the organization's advice on best practices for realtors.
Firby was alluding to what is the most worrying issue here, that of female real estate agent's safety while out and about, showing clients around homes. The risks that real estate agents face are well known, and there have been several high profile cases in which female agents have been killed, assaulted or robbed by their clients after being lured to show them around a home.
Jeff Buziak, an advocate for agent's safety whose own daughter, real estate agent Lindsay Buziak, was murdered by a client while showing them around a home in Calgary, told Global Calgary TV:
"It scares me that anyone would want to put an invitation out there. As subtle as it might be or humorous as some might think it is, I do believe it's an invitation, opening the door for something else that is not real estate.
Despite these criticisms, Arvastescu, whose Facebook profile suggests that she's hardly the most 'innocent' of real estate chicks, said that she stands by her provocative ad. Arvatescu's supporters backed her up, saying that it's a smart way of making herself stand out from the competition. However, RE/MAX officials have already said that they do not endorse the ad, telling Global Calgary that they had reservations even before the ad went up.
But irrespective of whether Arvastescu is right or wrong to flaunt herself in this way, there's no denying that she's certainly got the attention she was hoping for. We can only imagine her phone is ringing off the hook right now with legions of besotted buyers. Let's just hope she's careful 🙂
So what do you think about using 'risqué' or otherwise provocative ads in real estate? Is it a fair way to stand out from the crowd, or is this kind of sales tactic simply inappropriate in this industry? Let us know in the comments section below.
what type of clients does she expect to get from an ad like this?
She got what she wanted .. which was media attention. Now everybody knows her. She will probably find a way to appease everyone but appologizing and taking it down but at the end of the day.. she got the attention she wanted. It worked. The media fell for it! Suckers!
There is nothing whatever overly provocative about this billboard. The slight connotation in the headline "Let me take you home", this would not even be an issue if a man were in the ad. That is, unless he were shirtless or a James Bond look alike etc. A mature agent, of either persuasion, and the billboard becomes a non news item. It seems to me someone on the ground there does not like this lady. Just my view.
Being pretty, and showing potential customers you do not look like a sour grape? Besides, who buys Remax homes anyway? Families, or needy bachelors?
So, a beautiful woman (from Romania, if I may add), dressed in red, with a portrait near the words "let me take you home" is considered risqué? How is her pose "risqué"? She's not even using the bedroom eyes gaze. It's a full open eye gaze, honest, and sincere. If Mary Valentich considers this sexually inviting and provocative she must have a very very boring sexual life - if any.
I don't find absolutely anything wrong with a real estate agent saying "let me take you home." What do people want from realtors if not homes? Now I wonder, if it was the portrait of a man near those words, would we still be throwing stones and label the ad as risqué? Would we catch the innuendo? I'd say that her critics are sexist or jealous. The ad is brilliant.