BUSINESS

'Go Home Irish,' Say Toronto Ads. But It's Not What You Think.

07/14/2015 01:50 EDT | Updated 07/14/2015 01:59 EDT

"Go home," say ads targeting Irish people in Toronto.

It's a risky ploy by an upstart Dublin ad agency to lure expats home to work for them.

But it's also falling miserably flat with some social media users.

go home irish

The ads were designed by The Social House, a firm that is seeking "brilliant misfits who want to build this spaceship with us and crash it into whatever Richard Branson is building out on the edge of the universe."

One of the ads, which is being displayed on a truck that's driving around to various agencies in Toronto, urges Irish to "Go home" and visit the URL, pleaseleavecanada.com.

The URL takes you to The Social House's website.

Another ad, which is being displayed online, takes a softer tone.

irish go home

It tells Irish people they're homesick, and urges "cunning creatives and smart suits" to "come back to Dublin and everyone wins."

"We want to bring good people back from Canada, Australia and all over — so it was done to promote a bit of a reaction," Social House staffer Colin Hart told The Daily Edge.

Canada has seen an influx of Irish immigrants in the post-recession years, with as many as 1,100 leaving for the Great White North in 2008 and 2009, The Irish Times reported.

It saw a further bump in 2013, as 5,300 Irish people moved there as the federal government sought to fill labour shortages in areas such as construction.

The Irish Embassy estimated that another 14,000 people would move to Canada by the end of 2014.

While the ads are clearly meant to bring people home, they haven't quite drawn the reaction that The Social House was looking for. Not from certain people, anyway.

Others, however, defended the ads, calling them clever.

The Social House clarified the ads' intent in a news release quoted by Joe.ie, saying, "We're not anti-emigration, but we'd love to lure some of these internationally seasoned brains back home by pretending to be Anti-Irish-Canadians."

Be that as it may, other places have carried out similar campaigns, in a much friendlier manner.

New Brunswick, for example, has the ongoing "Coming Home" campaign. It places friendly faces in ads with slogans such as, "This is New Brunswick. Where you belong."

It seems The Social House opted for an approach that's creating more negativity than nostalgia.

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