Racy Real Estate Advertising!


3 minute read

February 11, 2013

This article appeared in the Globe & Mail over the weekend, and the whole real estate community is abuzz!

Is Diana A’s real estate billboard too racy?  Or just what the doctor called for?

“Was This Calgary Real Estate Agent’s BillBoard Too Racy To Show?”
By: Andy Ryan
The Globe & Mail
Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Would Don Draper approve of using sex to sell houses?

Since the advent of advertising, sex has been used to sell toothpaste, jeans, booze, cars and pretty much every other product under the sun, but some Calgary citizens are riled up over a suggestive billboard for allegedly employing a woman’s sex appeal to sell family homes. Imagine! Situated on a busy commuter route, the billboard features a closeup photograph of Re/Max agent Diana Arvatescu smiling warmly and favouring passing motorists with the line, “Let me take you home. It’s gorgeous inside.”

While not exactly a Calvin Klein underwear ad, the billboard generated controversy on a local level. A social work professor at the University of Calgary denounced the ad as “sexually inviting and provocative.” A rep for the Calgary Real Estate Board told Global TV Calgary that Arvatescu’s advertisement was outside the “best practices” standards for an agent.

More sobering, the billboard drew a response from Jeff Buziak, whose daughter Lindsay, a former real estate agent, was murdered while conducting an open house in Victoria five years ago. “It scares me that anyone would want to put an invitation out there,” Buziak told a reporter with The Canadian Press.

As might have been expected, some media watchers dubbed the billboard a desperation move by a real-estate broker to drum up business in an ever-softening housing market (even though home sales in Calgary are rising at the same time they’re dropping in other Canadian cities).

The Romanian-born Arvatescu, meanwhile, limited her response to the controversy, saying that she stands by her billboard. And there’s virtually no insight provided by her Facebook page, save for a photo of the allegedly offensive billboard and several more glamour-style headshots.

But did the blonde-haired and blue-eyed agent cross a line in the first place? Is there anything morally wrong about an attractive woman using her looks to sell a home most likely to be bought by a family? Would a billboard featuring a handsome male agent with six-pack abs stir up a similar public response?




What the heck is all the fuss about?

Since the dawn of time, people have been pushing the envelope with racy advertising!

But think about how things have changed over the years as society has evolved!

Think about what public reaction was like in 1963 when The Beatles had the audacity to sing, “I wanna hold your hand,” and parents everywhere were outraged!  Nowadays, it’s common-place for MC Super-Duper-Bad-Ass-Dude to sing, “I wanna &$*$ your @!$*@ with a @$*$@& and don’t forget the whip cream, #*@$.”

So is this real estate ad too racy?

I don’t think so.

I think the world is far, far too sensitive, and I think this ad is eye-catching, albeit somewhat provocative.

But there are some pretty bad advertisements in Toronto too!  I can’t name them, of course, since that would breach REBBA rules and I’d be “disparaging a competitor,” but just think of the movie “I Love You Man,” and consider that somebody did the SAME advertisement that was in that movie, here in Toronto.

I’ve got advertisements throughout the downtown core, and it’s not something I necessarily want to do, but it’s business.  I started in real estate in 2004 and said, “I will n-e-v-e-r put my face on a billboard!  Who the hell does that?”  Well, it took five years, but in 2008, I had my face on garbage bins, and my buddies were threatening to draw…..you know…..on the picture….”

So if a Calgary Realtor wants to reduce herself to……whatever you think she’s reducing herself to, then so be it.

The truth is: we don’t know her.  Maybe she’s got a great sense of humor, and she’s confident, outgoing, funny, and the people closest to her would laugh and say, “Oh, that is soooooo Diana!”

Who are we to judge?

There’s much racier real estate advertising out there.

Have a look…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

Find Out More About David Read More Posts

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  1. Sylvain W.

    at 9:52 am

    David I had no idea you own blue socks…

  2. wfi

    at 11:16 pm

    No different from having a blog that bashes others…

    1. moonbeam!

      at 6:36 pm

      wfi you are a moron, just saying…

  3. AsianSensation

    at 1:13 pm

    That asian guy looks like me! WTF!

  4. A.

    at 2:25 am

    Another great read !!

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