Calgary realtor's Remembrance Day ad draws strong online backlash
'I messed up and I take full ownership on that,' says Gary Fayerman
A Calgary realtor says he is extremely sorry for posting a "disrespectful" Remembrance Day ad in a small community newsletter.
The ad's title stated, "November is a month to Remember" followed by "Remember when prices were this low?"
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It garnered immediate online backlash.
Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/mraction_">@mraction_</a>, your ad has been added to the list of most obnoxious real estate ads. Brutal. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RememberanceDay?src=hash">#RememberanceDay</a> <a href="https://t.co/1iZYbljpHu">https://t.co/1iZYbljpHu</a>—@iSlutsky
So <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Calgary?src=hash">#Calgary</a>, this is real. <a href="https://twitter.com/mraction_">@mraction_</a> is using <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RememberanceDay?src=hash">#RememberanceDay</a> to push real estate business. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/shameful?src=hash">#shameful</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yyc?src=hash">#yyc</a> <a href="https://t.co/TMwufBunwx">pic.twitter.com/TMwufBunwx</a>—@SpencerWallace_
<a href="https://twitter.com/mraction_">@mraction_</a> Perhaps donating some of the commission from the sale of those homes to the Poppy Fund or Veterans Food Bank would be a nice gesture.—@SgtHazardPWA
Gary Fayerman says he immediately realized it was a mistake when the ad, which was printed in the CKE newsletter, went out to hundreds of homes in the Chinook Park, Kelvin Grove and Eagle Ridge communities in Calgary.
"It was very disrespectful for me to run that ad, and I do apologize very sincerely," he told CBC News.
The realtor, who has been in the business for 27 years, said this has never happened before.
He said his father was a bombardier in the Second World War, and his uncle was a war hero who flew 55 missions.
Fayerman says he now plans to volunteer at the Veterans Food Bank and made a donation to the Calgary Poppy Fund. He has also asked the ad be retracted.
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"I messed up and I take full ownership for that," he said. "I do want to apologize very, very sincerely."
Spencer Wallace, whose mother lives in the CKE neighbourhood a couple blocks away from Fayerman, couldn't believe his eyes when he was sent a picture of the ad. When he found out it was real, he tweeted about it and said the reaction had many people outraged.
"People were shocked and appalled," he said.
Wallace works in advertising, so printed off the ad to show his colleagues, who were also shocked.
"At the same time Gary had originally issued an apology on Facebook and Twitter.... He's basically doing everything in his power to try and make this right, so I don't think he should be publicly vilified," he said.
"He wasn't trying to offend. It just happens to come across as offensive, and he may have not realized it at the time."
It's not the first time ads have been retracted after negative feedback.
The Windsor-Essex County Humane Society in Ontario has apologized for a cat adoption ad that made light of a recently released tape of Donald Trump making sexually explicit comments about a woman over a decade ago.
A mattress store in Texas also came under fire for an advertisement that makes light of the Sept. 11 attacks.