Estate agency panned for ‘inappropriate’ Pride-themed window display

A new video has emerged online appearing to show a well-known estate agent arguing with a member of the public about its Pride-themed window display. See video below. 

Base Property Specialists in London has received a number of scathing comments online from people who have taken issue with the display chosen to celebrate the LGBT community.

Pride celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex culture, but one agent, who has asked not to be named, contacted EYE to say that the display was “inappropriate”, and in no way represented Pride. “It’s just weird and tacky,” they added.

The agent’s comments come after a member of the public took to YouTube to encourage others to express their concern regarding the agency’s display. See images. 

In the video, which has been viewed by thousands of people online, a member of the public expresses concern at the window display, after his 8-year-old daughter viewed it, insisting that “she was asking questions”.

He said that the display “looks very sexualized” and alleged that it is “aimed at children”.

Responding to his concern that the display is “pure sexualization”, a female representative of the agency is heard talking on the video, but at no stage appears on camera. She states that she can “only apologise”, insisting that “We didn’t think it [the display] was on a school route”.

She goes on to tell the disgruntled member of the public that her “business partner” advises him to write an email to the company.

A short while after, Kristjan Byfield, co-founder and company director of base property specialists, appears on the camera, and engages with the displeased individual raising concerns.

When the member of the public reiterates his concern that his young daughter is being exposed to the images of the inanimate wooden objects in sexual positions, Byfield tells him, “Mate, your parenting challenges are for you to make for yourself”.

When accused of “sexualizing children”, Byfield sarcastically said, “Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re doing”, insisting that the passer-by is “making stuff up”.

Byfield continued: “Are we are children’s store?

The estate agent insisted that the display was “about the embracement of different sexualities”. This is something the passer-by said he agreed with, but insisted that he wanted to know why having the wooden objects in a “sexual position” somehow represents “embracing pride and tolerance”.

Byfield concluded that “it’s a bit of fun and tongue-in-cheek”.

The member of the public was again told by Byfield to put any concerns he has in writing via email.

The man insisted that he would put his video recording on social media, which was something Byfield said he should do if that is what he wanted, and so here it is.

The video attracted more than 200 mostly critical comments yesterday. Content warning: Video Contains swearing. 




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  1. grumskikorski

    An unbelievably ridiculous own goal …what on earth were these agents thinking ????… bad bad call

    1. mo1597

      What a way to ruin your business.

  2. Emerypiper

    Low rent (to coin a phrase).

  3. MichaelDay

    I like Kristjan and Ana but I’m afraid this is simply inappropriate.

    We need people to “push the envelope” but they always take the risk of undoing their good work by switching off or not listening to their “reality radar”

    At least Kristjan had the opportunity to learn from the master of the own goal, Gerald Ratner, at this weeks Propertymark One conference.

  4. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    I’m far from a prude, but I’m struggling to understand the sort of thought process that would take this idea from concept to a realised end ‘product’, without someone thinking “hold on, this is a terrible idea!”.

    No doubt it was considered edgy and artsy, but it really just comes across a little bit puerile, inappropriate and ill-conceived.

    I’ve now seen the video, and thought that the situation was really poorly handled by the guys at Base (coming across as dismissive and condescending). Yes, the guy filming didn’t necessarily need to swear…but nevertheless, not great.

    Im also not sure whether the “we didn’t think it was on a school route” cuts any mustard.

    Ultimately, it’s a display visible to the general public, and as such must take into consideration that children form a part of the general public (oddly enough!).

    These figurines are simulating sex acts, with some written text about “loveislove”. Read into that what you will, but combined with the childlike stickers…its all a bit of car crash.


  5. KByfield04

    It’s sometimes essential to push the envelope. Our display has actually been up for around 4 months- in that time we have had an array of compliments (in person and online) about what a fun display it is with a beautiful message. Not a single complaint or even subtle tone of disaprovement.

    We are always open to others views and would have happily engaged with the gentleman in a reasoned and rational debate. But that wasn’t what he was after- he stormed in to our offices being very aggressive. What was filmed was me trying to have him leave after making several staff visibly uncomfortable with his aggressive manner. Within an hour of his visit, I took a number of phone calls from people threatening to smash in our window and warning ‘I’d better have eyes in the back of my head’. Make no mistake, this is not about protecting children, this is about bigotry plain & simple.

    We made the prompt decision that evening to remove the display entirely. Again, we never sought to offend. Since then our social media and Google pages have been bombarded with hateful lies, vile words and fake reviews. Interestingly only about 2 people so far were London-based with an increasing number from people in the US, Canada and other nations- many with well known anti lgbtq laws.

    As for the agent that flagged this to PIE- you’re welcome to contact me directly and debate your thoughts in an open and adult way.

    I had hoped for a more balanced article from PIE- interestingly there is no mention of what Turning Point UK are or their style of content. Violent bigots given an air of legitimacy. That’s probably the saddest thing.

  6. Gloslet

    So many Gerald Ratner comments in the video (albeit as edited by the complainant): ‘We didn’t think it was on a school route’ ‘Your parenting challenges are for you to make for yourself’ You’re sexualising children – ‘Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re doing’ at least it will be a good training video for other agencies

  7. AJL20

    If doing something provocative, don’t be surprised/upset if the reaction you provoke isn’t the one you want. Wooden figurines replicating explicit sexual acts isn’t remotely relevant to the Pride movement. A tactic designed to shock, which it did.

    That said, I don’t condone the parent’s behaviour, and think he undermined the credibility of his argument by the manner in which he conveyed it.

  8. Matt Baldock

    I think PIE could have at least explained the tone of the website that published this video as I’m not convinced the outrage from them was as much to do with the figures as it was to do with the support for the LGBTQ+ community.

    Personally I also think Kristjan handled himself in a very calm manner when faced with an aggressive man in his office who obviously wasn’t leaving easily.

    Would I have had this display in my office? No. Would BASE have their office looking like mine? No. Am I a massive fan of BASE’s decision to constantly be nothing but themselves? 100%

    I can guarantee there was absolutely no malice or ill intention behind this display so whether it was an ‘own goal’ or not, as an industry we should support good people trying new things and being their authentic selves and rally round them when they make mistakes with constructive advice rather than criticising behind our fake names.

  9. RachaelHeron

    As a queer estate agent, I fully support this – we’re constantly bombarded with simulated sex acts for hetero people on everything from buses to perfume ads everywhere, and you can literally buy sexualised baby clothes that insinuate your genderless blob of a 3-week old child is somehow even remotely aware of the concept of sex and gender, but god forbid that we remind people that being queer is not just being a pure, chaste thing that’s only about love and emotion, which is a rhetoric used to try and make hysterical bigots think it’s more acceptable.

    Also, stop expecting the world to cater to the fact that you have kids – all these parents giving it “I had to EXPLAIN a basic fact of life to MY CHILD! How DARE you make me actually be a parent!” every time they see something that make them mildly uncomfortable. Here’s the thing – kids don’t care. They ask a question, you tell them the answer, they move on with their lives. It’s the adults biting their knuckles and fretting that make it a big deal.

    Honestly, people are so precious these days and love to kick up a stink about literally anything – grow up and mind your own!


  10. KByfield04

    I feel something very important in this debate is also the neighbourhood we are located in. Shoreditch, for those that don’t know, is not a quiet hamlet or leafy green suburb- it is an area renowned for adult hedonism.

    It is an area aimed at adults- there are 4 strip joints within close proximity of our offices, 2 sex toy shops and of course an array of nighclubs.

    Shoreditch is a hotspot for stag & hen dos- with parties often stumbling through the streets shouting expletives whilst carry giant inflatable penises & sex dolls.

    Did we push the boundaries? Yes but that’s what Shoreditch has built its reputation on for the last 25-30 years.

  11. Whaley

    Turning Point who were reporting this video are a hideous Right Wing organisation imported from the US to bring their ******** culture wars to these shores.

    Their hate filled rhetoric is exactly why Pride exists and is essential to fighting bigotry.

    Everyone has the right to be offended , personally even for me maybe the dolls positions were a bit OTT! , but I’ll always risk risqué as anyone can tell from my dress sense , to make a point.

    I’d much rather a proper debate about why in this day & age we need groups and movements like Pride , it’s because bullying , discrimination and higher suicide rates are all tell tale signs that we’ve got some way to go yet in delivering proper equality.


    Wokey Whale

    1. AcornsRNuts

      Preesumably they are a different organisation from the UK Turning-Point who’s website has no political view that I can find.

      1. Whaley

        No unfortunately direct links, founded by the same despicable fella in charge of the US one Charlie Kirk

        Check his profile on Wiki, he’s a hateful whopper

      2. andalusia

        There is a genuine UK charity called Turning Point ( which has no affiliations with the group that posted the video. A rather unfortunate case of same name but *very* different organisations.
        It’s incredibly disappointing to see PIE post this article with no reference or explanation of the roots of the right wing political group Turning Point UK.

        1. AcornsRNuts

          Thnak you.  It was the hyphenated version I found and was referring to,

  12. Eagle60

    Every charity shop I walk pass has these wooden statues put into “provocative” positions, most likely by attendees than the shop owners, but I suspect the complaining father does not mind that so much, as there are no rainbow flags behind those statues.

    The outrage is clearly not because wooden statues are placed in amusing positions, it’s because of the representation of a minority. The fact that Turning Point are the bigots that posted this should make that crystal clear to all.

  13. Lettingsinanutshell

    Like the window or not it’s not for me to say what’s right but Kristjan and An have done more for this industry than most and have constantly pushed to represent all of us.

    Now, let’s all come together and look out for our own.

  14. Whaley

    Just as an addendum I thought the main thing that depressed me about this story is after looking at how many positions there are, how moribund my sex life is.

    Might have to bat for the other side for the first time since band camp at school.


    Vanilla Whaley

    1. AcornsRNuts

      Batting for the other side, as you put it, is not a choice.

      1. RachaelHeron

        Awful lot of opinions on policing other people’s experiences and verbage, considering you had a pretty transphobic remark earlier that’s now vanished….
        Need a leg-up on that fake moral high horse?

        1. AcornsRNuts

          Trransphobic? No, I just do not believe that Trans people have much in common with LGB people and are very much a minority.  As a gay man I have experienced homophobia throughout my life and reserve the right not to be included in LGBTQRXYZ+.

          If any comments I make hace disappeared I will simply say it is extremely ride of PIE not to advise me.  PIE, a most unfortunate name – Google PIE.

        2. AcornsRNuts


          Would your horse fit two people?

          1. RachaelHeron

            Nah,  I don’t offer lifts to people that should know better, soz

  15. letstalk

    Would I put this up in our window, no and I do see the point one commenter on YouTube made of the fact that it could seem to a child like they were looking into the rooms of a dolls house with the display. I don’t agree with many of the other comments on YouTube under the video. It’s quite clear bigotry is alive and well as are those doing so disguised under the banner of religion!

    I also do not agree that this is the sexualisation of children or that it has anything to do with paedophilia as is suggested by some in the comments or the gentleman who went into the office.

    Would I really want to explain sex to an 8-year-old? Not really. Could I if I felt it appropriate? Yes, because I don’t want my child to grow up thinking that anything surrounding relationships and sex is taboo or wrong. Do I think children are losing their childhood because of the media and the internet these days? Yes, so I do understand that argument in part, however, do I think I could have found ‘explanations’ for the display at the age of 8? Yes. That being said I am only a few years on and they are learning more about it all in school than you would think anyway, so, because we want an open and communicative relationship we do talk about these things as subjects come up because one thing I am very sure of is that I do not want my child to end up like some of those people commenting!

  16. The Sussex Idler

    A heroically misguided attempt to show some empathy. Hard to get upset about.

    1. Whaley

      Needs a gif to respond properly but in response to your comment:



  17. CarlaBurnett

    I’m pretty appalled by the lack of explanation of what Turning Point UK is in this article. Proud of my Base colleagues for openly supporting the LGBTQA+ community. Lessons will undoubtedly be learned from the whole experience, but Kristjan is right when he says this office is on a quiet side street in an overall lively, vibrant, diverse area that has street art and displays depicting all kinds of life and love.

    This outrage and the comments being left online for a company being true to themselves and having fun with it, from people who will never, ever need to interact with a lettings agency in East London, very much shows why we need Pride.

  18. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    This article has obviously caused some controversy…but IMHO a lot of these comments coming out in support of Base strike me as completely missing the point (either willfully to misdirect from an error, or mistakenly).

    Kristjan, your comments strike me as odd. You’ve immediately tried to defame the guy as a “bigot”. You’ve also blamed the group who seems to have posted the video (not one I’ve heard of) as being hateful…maybe, but that doesn’t really alter the content. You’ve then tried to blame PIE for being unbalanced…and finally tried to justify it by saying that because your in Shoreditch (known for adult hedonism), as if that explains it or makes it in good taste/acceptable.

    Then there’s a whole swathe of comments above agreeing that it’s bigotry and inferring that somehow the action of noticing the (very inappropriate) display is somehow anti-LGBT. Labelling someone a ‘bigot’ for finding something overtly tasteless/inappropriate, is really unsophisticated, and whilst its a very trendy thing to do in 2023, it seems to me that it’s attempting to take the easy way out, instead of simply holding your hands up and accepting that it was a terrible idea.

    I’ve watched the video before writing this response, and I do not get the impression that the guy has anything against gay/lesbian/trans, nor does he suggest this (its easy to extrapolate whatever may suit one’s own position).

    It strikes me that you’ve immediately taken a position that fails to actually address the largely agreed upon position, that the idea and execution of the display was way off-target…and no, it isn’t “bigotry” to conclude that depicting sex acts in figurine form, in a publicly visible display, is inappropriate.

    From what I can see, most of the ‘positions’ depicted lend themselves to heterosexual activity (without the use of additional ‘tools’ and therefore would suggest that it is, as the guy filming clearly states, his issue with sexual positions being depicted (and whilst I don’t agree with his approach or delivery, I do agree that it simply isn’t appropriate).

    Often in life, an apology and acceptance that we got it wrong, is the best path…rather than digging a deeper hole.


    1. AcornsRNuts

      Well said, but as a gay man with (too?) many years of experience, I must disagree with your comment, “From what I can see, most of the ‘positions’ depicted lend themselves to heterosexual activity”. Any heterosexual position is easily replicated by gay men.

  19. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    @AcornsRNuts (for some reason can’t reply directly to your comment!).

    Fair point

  20. Anonymous Coward


    Surely, isn’t context extremely important?

    As an example, there are places that it is entirely appropriate for me to be naked, perhaps you could say even demanded and required.  And then there are places where my nudity would be entirely inappropriate.

    Try going on a Naked Bike Ride (I did the one in Brighton in 2022) to actually feel what that means for real.

    Why do so many people need to have such a polarised opinion about things that they do not have enough information on to have such an opinion?

    Why do these people feel the need to force their opinion on others?

    I would strongly recommend that everyone just takes a deep breath and gets on with their lives…  Works nicely for me.

  21. Gangsta Agent

    why the F**K would you do that……………………idiots

  22. Mary Whitehouse

    jeepers… that made me blush

  23. proptechfan

    Explaining this one to children!

    Well having fathered two delightful little sprogs I can safely say the TV and internet displays a lot more than what is displayed in this agency window! Explaining sex to a child of course is different to explaining what a reach-around or happy-scissors is however I’m pretty sure I could have passed that of as wrestling dolls promoting Pride in their sport!

    Having met Kristian on a couple of occasions I cant imagine any malice was meant. If it was then that would be a very weird way to promote a business!

    I think the question I would have is why does Pride need to be associated with sex in the first place?

    Perhaps the display was a little childish and not particularly relevant to the message. But if that chap had walked in and instead asked questions and debated the window display then his message may have come across better. As a heterosexual male who has had sex (see above – I made two kids with my wife) I am pretty sure I understand what goes on between a man and a woman, a man and a man, a woman and a woman and so on! My understanding of Pride was that it was to promote love and equality and not the act of sex. So I do think the whole message in the estate agency window is a little bit lost!

    But being offended is of course a privilege and one we should never lose! Being offended is what makes us all human and makes us communicate. As Rowan Atkinson said only recently “Every joke has a victim. That’s the definition of a joke. Someone or something or an idea is made to look ridiculous.”

    Lets not start to pretend we have children who will be mortified, shocked or even offended by this display. They just don’t care!





  24. Malcolm Egerton

    Wow! Google score down from 4.9 to 4.6 in less than 24 hours.


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