Top Edinburgh hotel apologises after sexist ad causes online fury

The advert caused outrage on Twitter.
The advert caused outrage on Twitter.
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AN offensive advert displayed on a New Town building site has forced a popular hotel chain to issue an apology.

The signage on the side of a generator at Malmaison Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square site caused outrage on Twitter with calls for the offending material to be removed. The sexist advert for Core Drilling Specialists based in Bathgate shows a scantily clad woman brandishing a hammer with the slogan, “Core Drilling: We don’t pull out until the job’s done”.

The disturbing image was flagged to Malmaison Edinburgh on social media. Toni Hargis wrote: “Meanwhile in Edinburgh it’s 1978. Shame on @The Edinburgh Mal @MalmaisonHotels, Core Drilling Specialists and Sharkey Construction #everydaysexism #sexism.”

She added: “I actually can’t believe any company would think this is OK as advertising. Core Drilling Specialists are a disgrace.”

Within an hour of being notified, the hotel issued an apology and had the shocking image covered before it was removed.

Stewart Campbell, general manager of Malmaison Edinburgh, told the Evening News: “We were alerted to the sign on social media and we immediately got in touch with our contractors who had it covered up then removed.”

Core Drilling Specialists were sub-contracted by Sharkey Construction who were appointed by Malmaison Edinburgh’s development company S Harrison. Mr Campbell said: “It’s pretty horrendous and there has been a line crossed. We made our concerns to our contractors very clear. The company responsible is not affiliated to Malmaison Hotels.”

The hotel issued a statement via social media that read: “Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We are equally concerned and the advertising from Core Drilling Specialists is in the process of being removed from the building. We are very sorry for any offence caused.”

Dozens of angry Twitter users contacted Core Drilling Specialists via the social media platform and their e-mail but the company have not made a public statement. When the Evening News contacted them directly, a female staff member said that they didn’t find the advert to be distasteful. She said: “It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s only a cartoon character.”

Managing director Scott Murray did not respond when approached for comment.

A spokesman for Malmaison Hotels said: “It has been brought to our attention that a supplier to a sub-contractor of one of Malmaison’s development partners was responsible for an offensive image near our new Edinburgh site. Naturally we expect all of our suppliers to uphold the same high standards of decency, and we immediately stepped in to resolve the issue.”

Vaughan Hart of the Scottish Building Federation said: “This is shocking and sickening in this day and age. We find this advert abhorrent and wholly unacceptable. We fight for equality in the industry and this takes us back 40 years.”