Turkey of the week: Zoopla's #MeToo blunder is tone-deaf advertising

Zoopla defined exactly what it is to be tone-deaf with an inexplicable ad featuring a line of hermit crabs inadvertently making light of the recent #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment.

Turkey of the week: Zoopla's #MeToo blunder is tone-deaf advertising

The ad, which is currently running on London Underground, features a line of crabs all replying "me too" to another crab saying: "I’m selling my house on Zoopla" and another saying "copy crabs". The brand subsequently apologised for the offence caused.  

Have the creative team behind the ad been living under a rock, you might ask? Or better still a more constructive question would be, "Do you have enough women in your creative department?"  

The #MeToo movement is well established. On 5 October last year a New York Times investigation by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey revealed sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein dating back to 1990. In the same month the actress Alyssa Milano encouraged spreading the phrase as part of an awareness campaign to show the depth and breadth of the sexual harassment problem. (Social activist and community organiser Tarana Burke created the phrase "Me too" on the MySpace network in 2006 as part of a campaign to highlight sexual abuse in underprivileged communities.) 

In the cycle of seemingly perpetual outrage fuelled by social media it would be all too easy to diminish, divert or distract from the consumer complaints about this ad, evident in what one user described as "repulsive hijacking". But as the industry’s lack of diversity and the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements continue to cast a shadow across the industry, this ad blunder should provide a much needed, but nonetheless harder to stomach, pause for thought. 

Brand: Zoopla
Agency: MullenLowe London

Topics
Nicola Kemp

Nicola Kemp recommends

Read Zoopla's apology

Read more

Become a member of Campaign from just £51 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content