Costello and Costello Real Estate Group is a firm located in greater Seattle, Washington. Recently, the firm sought to distinguish itself with an ad touting its realtors' dedication and professionalism. The only logical way to do that? Taking a condescending swipe at working mothers, of course.
On one side, the ad shows a staged photograph of a "part-time agent," a mother overwhelmed and literally tied up by her three children. On the other side, there's realtors Chase and Jeffrey Costello, looking professional in crisp business suits. Maybe it was intended as a commentary on full-time vs. part-time realtors, but it looks more like a big FU to every working mother in the world.
The ad, which was distributed on fliers around town, was soon shared on Facebook, where it has racked up scornful comment after scornful comment. People are outraged at the Costellos for perpetuating the stereotype of working moms as unprofessional and distracted, a double standard that's never applied to fathers.
The backlash was so severe that Costello and Costello was forced to issue an apology on its Facebook page. Evidently, that didn't stop the rage train, because that Facebook page has since been taken down entirely. But Mashable got a chance to copy the apology before it was too late:
The Costello Team would like to apologize for our last marketing piece and we take full responsibility for it. We have received a flood of emotionally charged messages and phones calls, and we thank you for your responses. As sons of a single working mother and agents trying to build a family business, these reactions were difficult and important for us to hear.
There are thousands of professional agents working in our area who are also dedicated mothers, including several members of our team. Our original hope with this message was to show the value of having a full-time agent in a competitive market, but we completely failed. We have the upmost respect for moms and working mothers, and we know that the job of a mother is far more demanding than what we do as real estate professionals. Again, we are truly sorry. It was not representative of the company we wish to be.
It adds another layer of irony to this story that the Costellos were themselves raised by a single working mother. But the layers of irony don't stop there. This thing is like a seven-layer dip of irony. Consider this: the premise of the ad is that full-time realtors are more responsive to their clients than part-timers. But who ever had a realtor who actually called back, full-time or part-time? They all just ghost you. It's infuriating.