CALGARY -- A Calgary real estate agent has stirred up controversy with a suggestive billboard.
The Re/Max advertisement features a closeup photograph of Diana Arvatescu and the invitation: "Let me take you home. It's gorgeous inside.''
Some industry experts say they are concerned with the tone of the ad, given the ongoing safety campaigns to protect women hosting open houses alone.
Doug Firby of the Calgary Real Estate Board says women in the business need to be aware of potential risks.
He says the board offers advice on what it thinks are the best practices for agents, and he doesn't think the ad fits into that category.
The advertisement is also concerning to Jeff Buziak, whose daughter Lindsay, a real estate agent, was murdered after being lured to an open house.
Five years after her death, he continues to advocate for more safety measures.
"It scares me that anyone would want to put an invitation out there,'' Buziak says. "As subtle as it might be or humorous as some might think it is, I do believe it's an invitation, opening the door for something else that is not real estate.''
"I was very surprised to see something so sexually inviting and provocative,'' says Mary Valentich, a social work professor at the University of Calgary.
"It's a misguided effort to communicate selling houses -- she's selling herself and I don't think women need to do that.''
Arvatescu says she stands by her ad but would not comment further.
Her supporters say the billboard is a clever way for the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Realtor to stand out among her competitors.
"If there's a couple driving by, the husband is going to like her and the wife says no,'' says Andrey Butenko, a mortgage specialist.
"But if they're looking for a professional and it proves she is a professional, I am sure they will go that way.''
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