Zoopla has apologised for using its hermit crab advertising campaign, which features hermit crabs saying ‘Me too’.
Objectors accused it of making light of the high-profile #metoo campaign against sexual harassment.
The advert, running on the London underground, features a line of crabs all saying “Me too” in reply to another crab who says he is selling his house via Zoopla.
There has been criticism on social media plus one complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.
One Twitter user called the advert an example of “repulsive hi-jacking” and said that those behind it should be taken to account and make donations to women’s charities.
A spokesperson for the ASA said there had been one complaint specifically on the grounds that it makes light of the recent #metoo sexual harassment campaign. In addition there were two more complaints about animal cruelty and sexism. However, no ASA rules had been broken.
The spokesperson added: “We carefully assessed the complaint but did not consider there were grounds for further action. While the ad does use the phrase ‘me too’ we consider that viewers of the ad are likely to interpret its use as the crabs all agreeing to sell their houses on Zoopla, rather than a reference to recent sexual harassment claims and the resulting #metoo campaign.
“Therefore, in that context, we consider it unlikely that the ad will cause serious or widespread offence, and for that reason, the ad does not break the rules.”
At Zoopla a spokesperson told us: “The aim of our latest ad campaign is to demonstrate, in our usual light-hearted tone of voice, that Zoopla is a popular and well-known property website when selling or renting a home.
“In no way was the ad intended to carry any other meaning or allude to any other context and we apologise for any offence it might have caused.”
The hermit crabs campaign features the creatures which are said to move home more often than any other species.