NEWSFLASH: Ex-easyProperty director Harry Hill condemns bad taste of ‘funeral’ march

The fall-out from today’s ‘funeral’ march held by easyProperty to mark the supposed death of high street agents is beginning in earnest.

Former easyProperty director Harry Hill – and now chief executive of Hunters – told EYE this morning: “Had I still been involved with the business, which of course I am not, I would have questioned the taste of the prank and urged management to find other more constructive ways to build the brand.”

Hill, who headed up Countrywide for a number of years, resigned from easyProperty last year.

The board easyJet has also been warned that today’s march could have proved a “Ratner” moment for the entire easy brand.

A disgusted Trevor Mealham, of the Independent Network of Estate Agents, has fired off an email to easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Joannou and the easyJet board, including chairman John Barton and easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall.

In his email, Mealham sends a link to EYE’s coverage and says: “I would like to bring a publicity stunt to the attention of your board that many in the property industry feel is tasteless.

“Carolyn, as easyJet CEO, you say: ‘As the UK’s largest airline and fourth largest in Europe, we take our corporate responsibility very seriously. It is fundamental to delivering our ambition and therefore influences everything we do.’

“Let’s hope Rob [Ellice] hasn’t pulled off a Ratner moment for the easy brand.

“Shouldn’t large responsible corporates have policies in place for companies running under the same branding.”

Pictures and reports of this morning’s march are here



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  1. Gump

    Be interesting what (if any) the response will be.

    I would guess they will separate themselves from it

  2. kd

    Last time i checked, UK still had a freedom of speech act. Furthermore, if my memory serves me correct Ratner’s moment was running down his own product as **** not that of his competition! Must be a quiet day for news stories in hte property world today!

  3. Will

    With this level tack and immense bad taste will those who wish to use a professional service wish to use this type of company? I guess time will tell.

  4. The Outsider

    This has as much to do with Carolyn McCall as it has with the CEO of Easy Pizza.

    This is one for Stelios to ponder assuming he is the Easy brand owner

  5. I want to believe

    Any Mickey Mouse organisation can pull a ridiculous stunt to draw attention to themselves (usually done in order to mask a deficiency of their own) but I give the great British public more credit than the cunning stunt perpetrators obviously do.

    I could hire a horse drawn carriage to hike a mock up a mobile phone around London but it doesn’t mean anyone will stop using them.

  6. Neil Singer

    The whole point of a publicity stunt is to get publicity.  Seems to me that it has worked!

    1. Robert May

      Not really this is down at the level  of Rolf Harris doing a duet with Hannah Montanna singing I am 16 going on 17

    2. Martin Burgess

      For most home owners their property is their single biggest investment, for some it even represents their pension.. not many home owners put their house on the market without taking a serious look at the local prices, the local agents – and the local agents reputations. This stunt is represents a childish ‘war’ that can only detract from the serious business of dealing with a house sale.. We’ll see if its worked when by the end of the week he has 750 houses on the market to sell, that he claimed to have two weeks ago already..!

  7. Martin Burgess

    I don’t think many people will ‘warm’ to Robert Ellice the HYPOCRITE who preaches on about high street estate agents yet still owns Clarke Hillyer, a high street estate agent.. he also asks why the public would want to spend their money with high street agents who spend it on fleets of cars etc… while he continues to cruise around town in his Ferrari… Are you really interested in providing a quality service (for the public AND your investors) Robert… or just lining your pockets so you can continue the lifestyle your daddy created for you?

    1. PeeBee

      Really, Martin? – I had assumed that Mr Ellice was a ‘self-made man’.

      Can’t for the life of me imagine anyone wanting to take the blame, to be honest…

      1. Martin Burgess

        hahaha.. really..? Trace his father, then Derek Wilson, then Kingsley Wilson and just follow the money trail.. My guess is – if left to his own abilities, Ellice would have made a reasonable department manager at Primark. (many apologies to Primark department managers)…

  8. Eric Walker

    I am sure Rob has had advice from numerous people. Ultimately, what agents think is immaterial – its what landlords & vendors feel. Quite why he wants to associate himself with the saddest event in someone’s life escapes me – but what to I know? Think easyProperty, think funeral. People forget what you say, they forget what you did, but they never forget how you made them feel. The stunt has generated headlines perpetuated by everyone on here – but its not clever, not funny and not professional. Only time will tell.

  9. interestedobserver

    It was a pretty pointless stunt and as an idea it should have stopped at the marketing meeting where it was proposed. That said, reading posts about professional industry standards and hypocrisy when EYE itself itself repeatedly carries stories of agent fraud, money laundering etc etc is a bit rich. easyProperty staged a daft stunt that could have backfired. What they didn’t do was knowingly facilitate illegal activity. Poor taste is not yet illegal. Sadly. It would be nice to see the same venom directed towards the minority of agents who undermine the good work and professionalism of the majority.

    1. smile please

      I think you find that if an agent is seen to break the law or carry out “dark” practices highlighted on EYE most contributors on here are ready to knock them down.


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