London ad agency apologises for email ranking female employees by looks

London ad agency apologises for email ranking female employees by looks
Photo credit: Paul Martin/ Twitter

A top London advertising firm has apologised to staff after an email ranking the 'top 5' female employees was sent around by an executive.

Paul Martin, who sent the email to his colleagues at The&Partnership, also said he's "incredibly sorry" for his "unforgivable naivety".

In the email Mr Martin listed his top fives in categories such as 'overall', 'special mentions', 'if I'd had a few too many' as well as a bottom five list.

"Please bear in mind this is based solely on looks and has nothing to do with personality; if it were, there might be some right munters in there and that would defeat the whole point of trying to sexistly objectify people (on International Women's Day, of all days).

"After 7 pints and a bag of pork of pork scratchings," he wrote beside a woman's name on the 'special mentions' list.

Beside the number one woman on the bottom five list it said: "Really?! Come on. F**king hell."

"If you were the last girl on earth, I would use you as bait to trap a wild animal I would be happier f**king," it said beside another.

The email was sent as a farewell from Mr Martin to his colleagues, following his resignation. It is unclear where the heavily blurred screenshots, now circulating online, originated from.

In a pinned post on his Twitter account Mr Martin said he takes "full and sole responsibility" for offending with his email.

"Sending these 'Top Five' emails has become common practice at many ad agencies and, by sending that email yesterday, I have contributed to this culture of toxic masculinity.

"All the women mentioned in it are friends and people I very genuinely love and respect.

"After checking with them to make sure they were happy to be mentioned in the email (as part of what I erroneously considered at the time a 'joke') I thought that was enough to validate me pressing send.

"It wasn't and should never have been."

Mr Martin said he wants to be held accountable for his "misguided, offensive mistake".

"I've still got an incredible amount of listening and learning to do and truly want to do better."

The&Partnership London said on Twitter it does "not condone sexism of any kind".

It said action has been taken "to make it clear to all employees that we will not tolerate emails of this kind being sent in future, by men or women".