The property-owning couple who bought ENTIRE Welsh village and 'raised rents to unaffordable prices'
By Nick Craven and Andrew Chamberlain and Chris Matthews
09:17 25 Mar 2023, updated 10:18 25 Mar 2023
A millionaire jet-setting couple who enjoy a life of luxury are forcing an entire village out of the homes they’ve lived in for decades by ramping up the rent by insane amounts.
Landlords Lisa Walsh, 30, and her husband Chris, 35, live a lavish life of travelling across the world, all while they are forcing people from their homes in Aberllefenni, north Wales, with massive rent hikes, MailOnline can reveal.
Mrs Walsh posed for photos outside the five-star Bellagio in Las Vegas in 2019, the luxury hotel and casino featured in Ocean’s 11. Her Facebook cover photo backdrop is a stunning view of the Greek island of Santorini.
The couple are a husband-and-wife team who bought the entire historic Welsh mining village of Aberllefenni for £1million and are forcing out their tenants with huge rent increases of up to 60 per cent.
Mother-of-two Sara Lewis, 55, has lived in her Aberllefenni home for 22 years and said she was in ‘tears’ at the prospect of being left ‘homeless’ by the 26 per cent rent hike.
Disabled pensioner Brian Kügler, 70, said he has been left with just £3-a-month to live on after the lavish landlord supercouple increased his rent by nearly 60 per cent, from £380 to £595 a month.
He said: ‘My head is all over the place. I can’t afford the rent and don’t have the money to cover it.
‘If I had to pay £595 a month, I would be left with just £3 a month for food, running my car and bills.
‘I am really bl**** angry at the council and the landlord.
‘How can the landlord put the rent up by so much? How can that be right?
‘I love living here. It is my home. I have spent a lot of money redecorating the house and don’t want to move.’
Brian has lived in the cottage with his Cocker Spaniel-Labrador cross, Jake, for 14 years.
The pensioner added: ‘All this has had an impact on my health. I am not very well.
‘I didn’t have a Christmas last year because of all this.
‘Why can’t the council help out with the discretionary payment?
‘I just don’t know what I am going to do.’
Walsh Investment Properties has since reduced Brian’s rent to £550 a month – leaving him with £45.
After the Walshes snapped up the entire village, several tenants were served with Section 21 no fault eviction notices.
Like Brian, fellow tenant Sara Lewis also faces eviction and is so enraged she has mounted a daily sit-down protest against the charges for 16 former quarrymen’s houses and cottages in the village which is surrounded by stunningly beautiful scenery.
The mum of two, whose rent has increased from £435 to £550 a month, has also hit out at Gwynedd Council.
She said: ‘My Universal Credit contains £300 for my rent and the council current gives me £49 from its discretionary fund to pay the shortfall.
‘I have applied to Gwynedd Council for the £250 shortfall and received a phone call saying that I won’t be receiving it and will have to find the money myself.
‘I don’t have any savings and cannot work because I have severe emphysema and need oxygen at all times.
‘The council are being heartless and have caused be so much stress that it is making me ill.
‘When I received the phone call, I was in tears. They are making me homeless and do not care.
‘How ill do you have to be to qualify for the discretionary payment? ‘
Sara, who is also a grandmother, added: ‘I am going to sit down and protest on this bench until it is sorted or until I die.
‘If I end up catching flu or pneumonia, that’s it: I am dead.
‘I don’t want to move from the house I have lived in for 22 years.’
Ms Lewis said her rent has increased by £200 each month after the former quarrymen’s homes were bought.
Ms Lewis added: ‘I would rather die than leave this village. My support network is here, my family is from here. It’s become my haven and I don’t want to live anywhere else.
‘I believe I am going to be made homeless because I cannot get help.’
Ms Lewis continued: ‘My Universal Credit covers £300. The council will not be paying the extra cost. I’ve been told I’ll need to pay it myself with my benefits but I can’t afford £200 extra a month.’
I would rather die than leave this village. It’s my haven and I don’t want to live anywhere else.
Ms Lewis, who can’t work due to her illness, has applied to Gwynedd council for discretionary funding support.
But she claims she has now been ‘told no’ in terms of receiving any financial help.
She is now staging a one-woman protest on the village bench to highlight her plight – knowing it could make her seriously ill.
She said: ‘I’m sitting on the bench every day because I’d rather make myself ill than live elsewhere. I’m at the end of my tether.
‘In protest I am going to sit outside on the bench every day knowing that doing that will make me extremely ill, but if I am going to be made homeless then I would rather die sooner than later.’
Tenant Janice Taylor, 61, is backing her friend’s protest.
The grandmother said: ‘I am lucky because my husband works full time and I do seasonal work so we can afford the increase.
Sara said she will continue her one-woman protest on the village bench until the situation is resolved.’
The Walshes have a burgeoning buy-to-let empire advertised on Facebook from their base in Chester, which they set up shortly after they got married in 2017.
The rich pair were born and bred in the area and run Walsh Investment Properties, which bought the whole village in Gwynedd, last November.
Although the company, which bought all 16 houses in the slate-mining village of Aberllefenni, Gwynedd, just outside Snowdonia National Park, is registered to an address in London, the couple are both Welsh.
As well as their property empire, Mrs Walsh runs the thriving Hannah’s House Day Nursery in Rhyl and Mr Walsh is boss of building company EMW Developments Ltd.
Mrs Walsh frequently posts adverts on her Facebook timeline for newly-refurbished rental flats and houses in the area and company accounts for the couple’s firm show that they own a string of buy-to-let properties with mortgages.
The couple recently sold their own £360,000 detached house in Trelogan and are believed to have moved to a much more expensive property near Chester.
Latest company accounts show that Walsh Investment Properties had assets of around £4m in 2022, up from £1.5m the previous year, but profit figures are not available.
All of which will be of little comfort for the residents of Aberllefenni, some of whom are reported to have received eviction notices since the Walsh’s took over ownership of their homes in November and began hiking up the rents.
The village, which was built for workers at a former slate mine, was bought by Walsh Investment Properties after being put up for sale in 2016.
Aberllefenni community councillor John Pughe Roberts told the BBC: ‘I believe that the intention is to raise the rent so high that the tenants have to move out.
‘Some people who live in the houses are very vulnerable and are going to find it difficult to find the money to pay the difference.
‘Everyone in the village is concerned, some more than others because of the varying amount the rent goes up.’
Tenants have been worried about being able to afford the rent hike, with some facing increases of up to 60 per cent.
The village was previously owned by the family of John Lloyd, of Wincilate Limited, since the 1950s.
The row of nine houses, with additional cottages, were built in the 1700s as accommodation for quarrymen and their families.
The rent rose by 3 per cent per year under the previous owners – some have lived in their homes for more than 20 years.
‘How can the landlord put the rent up by so much? How can that be right? ‘I love living here. It is my home.
Chris Walsh told MailOnline that he wanted to reassure the tenants, saying : ‘We have given them all peace of mind that we are going work with them to make them stay in their homes.
‘We don’t want anyone to move out. We have no plans to turn them into holiday lets or sell to them.
‘They have been living in properties where rents are unsustainable and we have raised the rent to a fair amount, which is still massively below market value.
‘Someone could have bought all those properties and evicted them. We do not plan to do that.
‘We have lowered the rents from what was initially proposed by the agent, who used to manage the properties, and now because we in-house manage them, the rents have been reduced down rents off-setting the management fees we were charged.’
Mr Walsh said his company had recently fully refurbished one of the 16 homes and agreed a rent of £750-a-month.
‘We are giving the existing tenants the peace of mind and security for the future at £550 for the same property. We are not bad landlords. The worry was that people would lose their homes.
‘The gentleman who sold the properties to us knew that we wouldn’t sell, we wouldn’t break them up and we would continue to rent them but rents would have to increase.’
A spokesman for Gwynedd council said: ‘We are committed to supporting any individual facing difficulties as a result of the housing crisis. All applications for Discretionary Housing Funding presented to us are assessed by our benefits team as a matter of urgency.
‘Whilst we cannot comment in detail on individual cases, we can confirm that this particular application is currently being assessed.’
- We take a look inside the top five most viewed properties for sale on property website Rightmove
- Three out five of the most popular homes are on the market with price tags of £1million-plus
- The cheapest home in the list featured in TV’s ‘Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job’ and is for sale for £129,000
The most viewed homes for sale by Britons online have been revealed, with three out of five costing more than £1million.
The prices stretch north up to £4.8million for a luxury six-bedroom in Yorkshire that comes with six acres of land, while another of the multi-million pound homes – this time in Cornwall at £2.5million – has direct access onto a beach.
By contrast, the cheapest in the list from leading property listings site Rightmove is a two-bedroom flat in Spain that is on the market for just €145,000, the equivalent of just shy of £129,000. The renovation project featured in TV’s ‘Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job’.
The remaining property is a four-bedroom house in West Yorkshire costing £625,000. And why is that so popular? Probably because it boasts its own pub in the garden.
Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘From a renovated apartment featured in a hit BBC show, to a property where you can walk straight onto the beach, here are the homes people were looking at the most last month on Rightmove.’
The top five most viewed properties for sale online…
1. Two-bed flat, Sicily, Italy, £129k
This renovation project in Italy’s Sicily was featured on the TV show Amanda & Alan’s Italian Job’.
The Italian Job property series with Amanda Holden and Alan Carr saw them tackle the two-bedroom property from the ground up and throw themselves at DIY jobs from plastering to plumbing.
The finished property is now for sale for €145,000, the equivalent of just shy of £129,000. It is being sold by Italy Sotheby’s International.
2. Six-bed house, West Yorkshire, £625k
This six-bedroom house in West Yorkshire’s Ferrybridge Road boasts a stunning interior – but it is perhaps the feature in the garden that attracts the most attention.
The outbuilding includes a well-stocked bar with beer barrels used as tables and wall decorations.
The property is called Fairfield House and is being sold for £625,000 via Bradleys Real Estate.
3. Six-bed house, Kelvinside, Glasgow, £1.8m
This beautiful property is in Kelvinside, a district in the Scottish city of Glasgow.
It was originally designed by John Gordon around 1875 and extended with a Gothic Tudor influence in 1910.
The house has six bedrooms and is on the market for £1.8mllion via Corum estate agents.
4. Six-bed house, West Yorkshire, £4.8m
This six-bedroom property in Briestfield, West Yorkshire, is the most expensive in our list and is for sale for £4.8million via Yorkshire’s Finest estate agent.
The property isn’t in Yorkshire’s famed Golden Triangle, the area between Leeds, Harrogate and York, but it has a price tag to match homes there.
For that near £5milllion asking price you get an outdoor swimming pool with 6.5 acres of land and far-reaching views across the surrounding countryside.
5. Three-bed house, Fowey, Cornwall £2.5m
This Cornish detached house in Fowey has direct access from its garden onto the beach.
The garden is designed by a Chelsea Flower Show gold medalist and has views across the water to the harbour.
The property has an asking price of £2.5million and is for sale via May Whetter & Grose.
Transcript : Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. Presents at Citi's 2023 Global Property CEO Conference, Mar-07-2023 05:00 PM
S&P Capital IQ 2023
Technical analysis trends TANGER FACTORY OUTLET CENTERS, INC.
|Short Term||Mid-Term||Long Term|
Income Statement Evolution
|Number of Analysts||7|
|Last Close Price||18,49 $|
|Average target price||18,50 $|
|Spread / Average Target||0,05%|
Transcript : American Homes 4 Rent Presents at Citi's 2023 Global Property CEO Conference, Mar-07-2023 11:15 AM
S&P Capital IQ 2023
Technical analysis trends AMERICAN HOMES 4 RENT
|Short Term||Mid-Term||Long Term|
Income Statement Evolution
|Number of Analysts||21|
|Last Close Price||31,32 $|
|Average target price||34,71 $|
|Spread / Average Target||10,8%|
By Stephen Johnson, Economics Reporter For Daily Mail Australia
15:39 02 Mar 2023, updated 21:31 02 Mar 2023
- AMP said recent borrowers most at risk
- Many took out loans at record-low rates
- House prices expected to keep falling
Australians who took out a loan when Reserve Bank interest rates were still at a record-low of 0.1 per cent are the most at risk of being in mortgage stress, with house prices expected to keep falling until September.
Monthly repayments on a variable mortgage have surged by 42 per cent since May 2022, when the RBA started the first of its nine rate hikes.
Westpac, ANZ and NAB are expecting three more increases in March, April and May that would take the Reserve Bank cash rate to an 11-year high of 4.1 per cent – up from 3.35 per cent now.
This means Australians with an average $600,000 home loan would see their monthly repayments jump by another $283 to $3,567 – marking a 54.7 per cent surge in just a year.
What a 4.1 per cent cash rate by May means
$500,000: Up $245 to $2,973 a month by May, up from $2,737 now
A $1,051 or 54.7 per cent increase in a year from $1,922
$600,000: Up $283 to $3,567 a month by May, up from $3,284 now
A $1,261 or 54.7 per cent increase in a year from $2,306
$700,000: Up $330 to $4,161 a month by May, up from $3,831 now
A $1,470 or 54.7 per cent increase in a year from $2,691
$800,000: Up $377 to to $4,756 a month by May, up from $4,379 now
A $1,681 or 54.7 per cent increase in a year from $3,075
$900,000: Up $424 to $5,350 a month by May, up from $4,926 now
A $1,891 or 54.7 per cent increase in a year from $3,459
$1,000,000: Up $472 to $5,945 a month by May, up from $5,473 now
A $2,102 or 54.7 per cent increase in a year from $3,843
Monthly repayments based on a Commonwealth Bank variable rate on a 30-year loan rising to 5.92 per cent from 5.17 per cent now. This reflects Reserve Bank cash rate rising to 4.1 per cent, from 3.35 per cent. Annual increase compares 2.29 per cent variable rate in May 2022 when the RBA cash rate was at 0.1 per cent.
A Commonwealth Bank variable rate by May would rise to 5.92 per cent, up from 5.17 per cent now before the next rate rise, expected on March 7.
Just 10 months ago, Australia’s biggest home lender was offering variable rates of just 2.29 per cent for borrowers with a 20 per cent deposit.
AMP senior economist Diana Mousina said borrowers who took out a loan between 2020 and early 2022 – when RBA rates were at a record-low of 0.1 per cent – were most at risk of mortgage stress where they struggled to pay their bills.
‘These households have not had time to build prepayment buffers, have faced large declines in home prices, have had a very fast repricing of mortgage rates, are more likely to have taken out larger loans and were probably not stress tested for the current increase in interest rates,’ she said.
Australian household debt also makes up 189 per cent of income, a level higher than Canada, the UK, the United States, Germany and New Zealand.
‘This makes Australian households vulnerable to changes in home prices and interest rates, with the risk of mortgage stress increasing as home prices fall and interest rates are increased,’ Ms Mousina said.
Ms Mousina argued mortgage stress needed to be based on more than just who spent more than 30 per cent of their income on mortgage repayments.
She also looked at mortgage arrears, where a borrower is 30 days or more behind on their repayments, along with negative equity, where someone owes their bank more than their home is worth.
Sydney has been the worst affected capital city market with the median house price falling by 14.7 per cent to $1,217,308 in the year to February 2023, CoreLogic data showed.
Hobart’s equivalent values have dived by 12.2 per cent to $699,959.
But the expensive lifestyle postcodes on the far north coast of New South Wales have suffered the biggest annual falls since floods hit the area in early 2022.
Mullumbimby’s median house price has plummeted by 30.1 per cent to $1,011,547.
This was even more dramatic that Byron Bay’s 25.4 per cent decline, taking the mid-point house price back to $2,255,105.
Lismore suffered the worst of the flood devastation with its median house price falling by 24.8 per cent to $403,430.
Another flood-affected suburb in Brisbane, Rocklea, saw its mid-point house price fall by 13.3 per cent to $507,506.
CoreLogic economist Kaytlin Ezzy said property prices in the flood-prone suburbs of Brisbane and northern NSW were likely to take longer to recover compared with the aftermath of the 2011 floods.
‘Given the severity of this event, and the short timeframe between major flood events, it’s likely the current value declines across the Northern Rivers and impacted house suburbs in Brisbane could be more enduring,’ she said.
AMP is expecting Australian home values to keep falling until September, marking a 15 to 20 per cent decline from the peaks in 2022.
They have dropped by 9 per cent since peaking in April 2022, marking the biggest fall in CoreLogic records going back to 1980.
The Reserve Bank is expecting 880,000 fixed-rate mortgages to expire in 2023.
That means a borrower who took out an average, big bank fixed rate of 1.92 per cent in May 2021 faces moving on to a ‘revert’ variable rate of 7.43 per cent.
The fine print in these contracts stipulated borrowers would be moving on to a variable rate that was, on average, 3.33 percentage points above the RBA cash rate – and three of Australia’s Big Four banks are expecting a 4.1 per cent cash rate by May.
That means a borrower with an average $600,000 mortgage, on a 25-year term, would abruptly go from paying $2,518 a month to $4,251 – a massive 68.8 per cent surge, RateCity calculated.
AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said a higher 4.1 per cent RBA cash rate risked pushing Australia into a recession as more home borrowers struggled to service their mortgage – leading to house price falls.
‘The increasing risk of recession with much higher unemployment will weigh on demand with the risk that debt servicing problems for some home owners will start to also boost supply,’ he said.
Australia’s gross domestic product grew by 0.5 per cent in the December quarter but GDP per capita – or economic output for every individual – was flat, Australian Bureau of Statistics national accounts data showed.
Gareth Aird, the Commonwealth Bank’s head of Australian economics, said the economy was likely to suffer a per capita recession in 2023, despite immigrants returning.
A per capita recession is different to a technical recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction.
Australia last suffered a technical recession, as a result of high interest rates, in 1991.
Recession, the dreaded “R” word, has been floating around for a while and consumer confidence is down. What is driving the negative economic outlook?
One word: inflation. We are seeing higher prices for food, gas and other products, with inflation reaching its highest level since the 1980s in 2022. Consumers and businesses experience this on a daily basis and expect inflation to remain higher for longer. The reality is that inflation, while still uncomfortably high, has moderated in the last few months, while economic growth picked up in the second half of the year despite subdued confidence. Moreover, the labor market has been incredibly resilient as hiring continues at an above average rate. So there are both positives and negatives when surveying the economy as a whole.
It seems the risk of recession could be growing amid falling confidence and the
One indicator of a potential recession is the bond market and past recession trends. The current relationship between long-term treasury bonds and short-term treasury bonds has inverted from what it normally is, as typically the long-term yields are higher. This is an interesting indicator because the curve has inverted roughly 12 months before each of the last seven recessions.
By contrast, in the current labor market, we are seeing near record lows in unemployment and fairly strong job growth. And despite some high-profile layoffs, it is a tight market with job openings far exceeding the supply of available workers. However, while there have been isolated layoffs on a national scale, that could change in 2023. It is important to maintain a watchful eye on the labor market going forward – as an indicator of whether we are in a recession, and more importantly, how severe it will be.
The stock market could also provide signs of a potential economic downturn. As companies struggle with falling earnings and share prices, they will face increasing pressure from shareholders to cut costs. How do companies cut costs? They lay off employees, cut back on building projects and invest less. Those actions will have a real impact, and we’re just starting to see that spill into the real economy.
What does the economic landscape, including the
As we know, the housing market hit a strong stride a couple years ago with low mortgage rates, but it has seen the wind taken out of its sails with dramatic increases in rates. As the
That being said, home prices are expected to decline across the country. The
The multifamily sector has been strong in both
Net migration to
The multifamily market has a positive outlook. The units under construction make up a significant percentage of multifamily inventory in both
Manufacturers and large companies will continue coming into the region, and the local job markets will continue to grow. This will keep the market demand for multifamily in a good place. And even if there is a recession – with the most likely scenario being a mild recession – the multifamily sector across the nation has proven resilient in prior recessions. So, the multifamily industry in
Office markets have been cooling off over the last few years with a move to work-from-home and hybrid work structures, leaving less demand for office space. However, many companies are moving their workforce back into the office. Has this shift led to stronger office markets?
While you might think that moving back into the office has created more demand for office space, the transition is not as quick as flipping on a light switch. Many employees have resisted returning to the workplace, and employers have been hesitant to enforce mandates on being in the office. This has made the office sector weaker than industrial and retail sectors. Office markets might just need time to heal, but it’s uncertain whether they will fully bounce back. That said, we are seeing a clear flight to quality in the office market, as absorption of space in newly constructed, highly amenitized buildings has been positive since the onset of the pandemic. These assets will continue to outperform as the broader market recalibrates to the new reality of hybrid work.
From an investment perspective in the commercial real estate market, how does the office sector compare to other sectors?
When you look at the share of transaction volume by property type in 2022, office space was down by 25 percent from the 2017-2019 average, whereas apartment and industrial saw an increase of 58 percent and 52 percent, respectively. Even hotels and retail space have seen a resurgence, with people wanting to get back out and resume their normal activities. At the same time, it is still being determined how the market will play out with a potential recession and minimal data regarding the impact of higher rates. However, once the
While there is a looming risk of recession and headwinds are expected, the outlook for commercial real estate markets is generally optimistic. The economic landscape will present some challenges and there will be new variables to consider. And as always, some property sectors will remain investment darlings while other sectors will generate less interest. But moving ahead, the commercial real estate space is expected to remain resilient during these uncertain times and will be ripe with opportunities.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
© Mondaq Ltd, 2023 – Tel. +44 (0)20 8544 8300 – http://www.mondaq.com, source
- The Super Bowl marks a day of great football and a chance for major advertising
- Every year, the sports event airs commercials that spark various emotions
- As NFL fans prepare to watch the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles face off on Sunday, FEMAIL reveals the most controversial ads
As everyone prepares to come together and watch Super Bowl LVII to see two of the best NFL teams face off, many look forward to much more than the sport as every year a new round of commercials are released to shock audiences around the world.
Last year, the Super Bowl garnered more than 99.18 million viewers, making it the most-watched annual sporting event in the world.
And since eyes will be locked to the screens for the duration of the game, the sporting event is the perfect place for major companies to advertise.
Every year, companies pay upwards of $7 million just for a 30-second spot, and since the Super Bowl is the largest broadcast, advertisers desperately try to come up with unique ways to grab the attention of viewers, even if that means sparking outrage.
Ahead of the 2023 Super Bowl which will see the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, FEMAIL has revealed the most controversial and jaw-dropping commercials.
‘Hypocritical’ and ‘too controversial’: 84 Lumber commercial depicted mom and daughter attempting to cross border
This nearly six-minute ad sparked furious debate as it depicted a mother and daughter’s journey to the United States.
The 84 Lumber commercial shows the duo traveling until they reach the border, only to be met with a wall.
The 2017 ad came mere weeks after President Trump’s inauguration and was dubbed to be ‘too controversial’ by Fox.
Because of the network’s suggestion, the building supply company decided to air a 90-second alternative, which didn’t depict the wall, but directed viewers to head to its website to watch the full clip.
Many audience members couldn’t hide their anger as they slammed the company for using immigration to market the company.
Others claimed the clip was hypocritical because the CEO of 84 Lumber was said to have supported Trump’s border wall plan.
‘Tasteless’: Groupon’s Tibet ad was slammed for making light out of serious issues
Groupon has earned a reputation when it comes to Super Bowl commercials over the years, and this one was no different.
In 2011, the coupon company aired an ad that sparked outrage amongst viewers as it made light of the political turmoil in Tibet.
The commercial featured Timothy Hutton, 50, who said: ‘The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture in jeopardy.
‘But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought on Groupon.com we’re getting $30 worth of Tibetan food for just $15 at a Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.’
The commercial was deemed ‘tasteless’ by viewers as many consumers threatened to abandon the brand.
The advertisement sparked savage criticism and fierce backlash.
A ‘dividing ad’: Tim Tebow’s Focus on Family anti-abortion ad was heavily criticized
One of NFL’s own was heavily criticized by women’s groups. The commercial featured college football star Tim Tebow, and pushed viewers to celebrate life and avoid abortion.
The 2010 ad was paid for by the conservative Christian group, Focus on the Family, and told the story of Pam Tebow’s pregnancy in 1987 with the theme of ‘Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.’
After falling ill during a mission trip to the Philippines, the mom ignored her doctor’s recommendation to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim.
The commercial was met with fierce outrage from women who said it should have never been approved to air in the first place.
The New York-based Women’s Media Center coordinated a protest with backing from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups.
‘An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring Americans together,’ Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Centre, said.
A treat and controversy? Snickers ad slammed for being ‘homophobic’
In 2007, a Snickers ad sparked furious backlash, which resulted in it being pulled from the air for being too homophobic.
The ad showed two men eating a Snickers bar Lady and the Tramp-style and accidentally kissing.
After the two kissed, they immediately screamed and demanded they do something ‘manly.’
Many viewers claimed the commercial was promoting the idea that gay men couldn’t be manly as well as fueling anti-gay bullying.
The ad was also criticized by the Human Rights Campaign, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
In a statement, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said: ‘This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country.’
A message gone wrong? General Motors attempt to show its commitment to quality is dubbed ‘dark’ as it features a robot suicide
During the 2007 Super Bowl, General Motors ran an ad that showcased a robot who was fired from the company’s factory for committing a minor error on the job.
The commercial sparked furious outrage as it depicted the robot committing suicide due to its mistake.
After the robot was fired, viewers saw it search and go through various jobs, but after failing to find meaningful work, the robot then throws itself off a bridge in the middle of the night.
And while the robot didn’t actually die and the story was all a dream, many viewers had an issue with the explicit suicide imagery.
A spokesperson for the automotive manufacturing company claimed the ad was meant to showcase the company’s obsession and commitment to making quality automobiles.
But the American Society for Suicide Prevention made its objection to the commercial very clear.
After the ad left viewers wanting to abandon GM all together, the company was forced to remove the robot suicide.
‘Cruel’ GoDaddy ad sparks outrage with dog lovers as it’s slammed for promoting puppy mills
Website builder GoDaddy received fierce criticism in 2015 after teasing an advert about a puppy who falls off a pickup truck and finds its way home – only to be sold by its owner.
The commercial shocked viewers who slammed the domain registrar for promoting puppy mills.
The ad opens with nine-week-old pooch Buddy riding in the back of a truck.
Buddy is thrown from the bed of the truck and he faces a treacherous journey home across train tracks, and through mud and rain.
Finally, the pooch sees his owners’ farm and runs towards, leaping into their arms.
And while the commercial would’ve had viewers grinning from ear to ear had it ended there, instead, the owner revealed it was only happy to see the pup because she had sold him on a website set up with the help of GoDaddy.
Buddy is placed in a van and driven away by GoDaddy spokesperson and racing star Danica Patrick.
Just one day after the teaser was released, the ad received furious backlash, with many customers noting that they would not be registering with the company.
Viewers also slammed the domain registrar for making light of puppy mills, noting that it was no laughing matter.
Nationwide Insurance’s commercial dubbed ‘depressing’ for depicting a boy who died from an accident
Nationwide Insurance brought on vicious criticism when it aired a ‘dark’ and ‘depressing’ commercial about a young boy who died in an accident during the 2015 Super Bowl.
The advert opened with a young boy discussing the various milestones he will miss throughout his life, including learning to ride a bike, receiving ‘cooties’ from a girl and getting married.
‘I’ll never learn to ride a bike or get cooties. I’ll never learn to fly or travel the world with my best friend. And I won’t ever get married,’ he said during the commercial.
‘I couldn’t grow up. Because I died from an accident.’
The advert showed a haunting image of an overflowing bathtub that makes viewers presume the child died by drowning, alongside the words: ‘The number one cause of childhood deaths is preventable accidents.’
Within seconds of airing, thousands of football fans took to social media to express their disgust.
‘Sexist’ Dodge ad is criticized for showing men describing their annoyances with their wives – claiming they will put up with it to drive a Charger
The car company sparked fierce outrage and was branded ‘sexist’ after airing an ad that featured men listing various annoyances they had with their wives that they put up with so they could drive a Dodge Charger.
The commercial featured multiple men blankly staring into the camera claiming they would attend work meetings, take their wives’ call, wash the sink, put the seat down, and other complaints they had with their partners.
At the end of the list, one of the men said: ‘And because I do this, I will drive the car I want to drive. The Charger, man’s last stand.’
The commercial was slammed by viewers, especially women, who claimed the ad was aimed solely at men, and attempted to convince men to buy the car to feel more ‘manly.’
It was also said to be offensive because it emphasized the idea by purchasing the car, men will be protesting against women.
‘Offensive’ Groupon commercial starring Elizabeth Hurley compares rainforest deforestation to waxing
The coupon company came under fire once again after Elizabeth Hurley appeared in a 2012 commercial that was slammed for its comparison of the deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest to a Brazilian bikini wax.
In the ad, the actress, now 57, said: ‘The rainforest is irreplaceable, yet rampant deforestation is threatening this natural treasure.
‘But, not all deforestation is bad. And since 100 of us bought on Groupon.com, we’re all saving 50 per cent on a Brazilian wax at Completely Bare in New York City.’
The commercial was met with fierce criticism as it was said to be making light of a serious issue.
Groupon’s co-founder Andrew Mason issued a statement on the site explaining the about-turn.
‘We hate that we offended people, and we’re very sorry that we did – it’s the last thing we wanted,’ he said.
Mason added that the ads would be replaced with ‘something less polarizing.’
Cooking up controversy! Carl’s Jr. All Natural commercial sparked outrage
In 2015, Carl’s Jr. unveiled a controversial ad starring model Charlotte McKinney, which was slammed for setting ‘feminism back four decades.’
The commercial showed the model walking through the streets wearing a bikini top and short shorts while attracting numerous stares from men.
After walking through the streets, she takes a big bite out of the burger.
Viewers slammed the fast food chain for objectifying women, especially since it was unclear that the ad was promoting their All Natural hamburger until 28 seconds in.
And while Carl’s Jr. attempted to use the philosophy ‘sex sells,’ they were met with viewers who had lost their appetite during the big game.
Many football fans were so offended they took to social media to tweet about their frustration with the hashtag, ‘women are more than meat.’
A very scandalous message! PETA’s ad claims ‘vegans last longer’ in bed while depicting couples in between the sheets
When PETA aired a NSFW commercial during the 2016 commercial, viewers were left shocked.
The ad showed two couples – one pair were meat eaters and the other were vegans.
The commercial attempted to convince football fans that those who don’t eat meat last longer in bed than those who do.
The ad raised eyebrows with its racy clip that showed scantily-clad couples in between the sheets.
Many viewers, even those who were vegan, noted that the commercial was too sexual.
The ad was soon banned for its explicit content.
PETA’s Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said that banning the advert meant viewers were missing out on ‘comedy and sex appeal.’
She said in a statement: ‘Super Bowl 50 audiences will be missing out on comedy, sex appeal, and the lifesaving message that vegan meals can help clear clogged-up carnivores and get their blood pumping again.
‘PETA’s edgy but crowd-pleasing TV spot shows that vegans may have a banana in their pajama pocket, just to snack on later, but they’re also really pleased to see you.’
A petition to end the race: Skechers commercial that shows dogs racing is protested against for promoting abusive treatment of pups
Skechers caused a stir amongst viewers in 2012 when it aired a commercial that was slammed and protested against for appearing to promote dog racing.
The 30-second ad showed a French bulldog, wearing Skechers’ GOrun sneakers and lining up at the starting gate during a greyhound race.
The bulldog named Mr. Quiggly wins the race and credits the shoes.
The clip was met with fierce criticism as viewers claimed it was advertising cruel treatment of dogs.
A petition to ban the commercial was even created by Change.org, who begged football fans to ‘ask the company not to support the cruelty of dog racing.’
It noted that the commercial was filmed at the Tucson Greyhound Park, and depicted greyhounds racing and losing against the smaller dog.
The petition explained that at the filming center, greyhounds are kept in small cages that are said to be ‘barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around.’
The ‘ad from hell’: Just for Feet’s ‘racist’ ad sparks furious criticism
The shoe company may possibly receive the throne for the most controversial ad of all time after its 1999 commercial was dubbed the ‘ad from hell.’
The commercial was so bad the company sued its advertising agency and never recovered from the damage of the ad.
It showed a barefoot Kenyan runner being hunted down by mercenaries, who drugged him and knocked him out cold.
When the runner woke, he had Just for Feet shoes on him.
A spokesperson for the brand claimed it was trying to communicate that their consumers would do anything to get their hands on a pair of shoes.
However, the ad was met with fierce outrage, especially because it showed four individuals hunting down a black man.
The ad was slammed for being ‘racist,’ ‘appalling’ and ‘insensitive.’
In response, Just for Feet sued the advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, for $10 million.
However, the lawsuit was dropped when the shoe company filed for bankruptcy.
Q2 Catalyst’s suite of digital solutions to help Encore Bank meet the needs of its commercial clients
Q2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: QTWO), a leading provider of digital transformation solutions for banking and lending, today announced that Encore Bank, one of the nation’s fastest-growing banks, has selected Q2 as its strategic digital partner.
Encore Bank – a commercially focused boutique bank with $3.4 billion in assets that serves customers in 20 markets across eight states – will deploy the Q2 digital banking platform, along with several Q2 Catalyst commercial solutions. Leveraging the Q2 digital banking platform’s extensive integration capabilities, Encore Bank will be able to grow its commercial lending, deposit and non-interest income business through a seamless digital experience that connects to its back-office processing systems.
“Technology has changed the game in banking, but it’s no longer enough to be a differentiator; it also needs to drive and deepen relationships,” said Encore Bank President, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Burt Hicks. “We looked for a digital partner that was the best of the best with unmatched capabilities and competency. Q2 brings immense value and innovation to the table. Their team immediately aligned with our vision at the executive level, and we look forward to a long-term partnership.”
Encore Bank will leverage many of the digital solutions that are part of Q2 Catalyst, Q2’s suite of best-in-class commercial banking solutions, to deliver a modernized user experience to its customers. These solutions include Q2’s industry-leading digital banking platform that serves consumers, small businesses and commercial customers, Q2’s onboarding solutions for consumers and businesses and Q2’s best-in-class treasury management solutions, along with Q2 Treasury Onboarding™, Q2 Commercial Sales Enablement, Q2 ClickSWITCH, Centrix and Q2 Marketplace.
“Q2 Catalyst resonated with our team because it allowed us to solve specific challenges for our commercial customers, including the ability to onboard efficiently and the autonomy to manage day-to-day operations with ease,” said Nikki Pfleger, director of business banking solutions, Encore Bank. “We want to deliver a seamless digital experience and best-in-market treasury technology, all while providing capital to small and mid-sized businesses.”
Known for its concierge approach to banking, innovative technology and experienced bankers, Encore Bank offers a unique experience for its employees, partners and clients. Each Encore Bank location employs local people with local interests and a deep understanding of what makes each community great. They are committed to serving clients and the communities by forming deep partnerships with its customers, local nonprofits and philanthropic and community organizations.
Dallas Wells, senior vice president of Product Management, Q2 said, “Q2 is proud to partner with Encore Bank and work in lockstep with its innovative team to deliver solutions for every aspect of the commercial life cycle. Encore Bank is truly building something unique, and we are excited to partner with Encore Bank to help empower its growth trajectory and accelerate its digital roadmap.”
For more information about Q2’s best-in-class commercial banking suite, go to Q2 Catalyst.
Click here to learn more about the Q2 and Encore Bank partnership.
About Encore Bank
Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Encore journey began in 2019 when three experienced Arkansas bank professionals moved to The Capital Bank, a small Little Rock bank established in 1997. With just seven employees, $160 million in total assets and a vision to build a different kind of bank, founders Chris Roberts, Phillip Jett and Burt Hicks rebranded that small bank to Encore Bank, and within three years, turned it into the fastest organically growing bank in the country. Today, Encore Bank has more than 300 employees, $3.4 billion in total assets (as of Jan. 15, 2022) and is operating in 20 markets across eight states. Encore Bank is a privately held, boutique bank with a commercial focus that couples highly experienced and talented bankers with innovative technology to offer unprecedented levels of service to its clients through a hospitality-inspired concierge approach. Encore Bank provides a full suite of financial products and services to businesses, business owners, professionals, their families and contacts with purpose, passion and precision. Additional information about Encore Bank can be found at www.bankencore.com.
About Q2 Holdings, Inc.
Q2 is a financial experience company dedicated to providing digital banking and lending solutions to banks, credit unions, alternative finance, and fintech companies in the U.S. and internationally. With comprehensive end-to-end solution sets, Q2 enables its partners to provide cohesive, secure, data-driven experiences to every account holder – from consumer to small business and corporate. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Q2 has offices throughout the world and is publicly traded on the NYSE under the stock symbol QTWO. To learn more, please visit Q2.com.
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(Alliance News) – Stock prices in London were higher on Wednesday at midday, as investors hope for slower interest rate hikes by the world’s key central banks.
The FTSE 100 index was up 14.32 points, 0.2%, at 7,786.02. The FTSE 250 was up 160.60 points, 0.8%, at 20,014.05, and the AIM All-Share was up 5.85 points, 0.7%, at 873.67.
The Cboe UK 100 was up 0.1% at 778.45, the Cboe UK 250 was up 0.9% at 17,474.90, whilst the Cboe Small Companies was down 0.1% at 14,070.56.
Investors are hoping for a dialling back of the pace of interest rate rises, with markets now expecting a 25 basis point hike in US interest rates. Should the Fed raise rates as expected on Wednesday, this would take the federal funds rate range to 4.70% to 4.75%.
The Federal Open Market Committee will conclude its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday and announce its decision at 1900 GMT. This will be followed by a press conference with Fed Chair Jerome Powell at 1930 GMT.
“The FTSE 100 moved higher on Wednesday morning, with today’s trading session in London sandwiched by strong gains on Wall Street overnight and the US Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates later,” says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
“A lot is riding on the Fed dialling back the pace of rate hikes to 25 basis points and there will also be plenty of attention on the surrounding messaging from Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues. Helping the market’s mood on Tuesday was data that revealed slowing US wage growth, another signal that inflationary pressures have peaked.
“Investors clearly hope we are getting closer to the point at which the Fed pivots away from rate rises and that it does so before too much economic pain has been inflicted.”
In the US on Tuesday, Wall Street ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending up 1.1%, the S&P 500 up 1.5% and the Nasdaq Composite up 1.7%.
New York stocks are called higher ahead of the Fed’s decision, which is made during US market hours. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was called up 1.1%, the S&P 500 index up 1.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite up 1.7%.
On Tuesday, figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Tuesday showed that US wages and salaries increased in the final quarter of 2022.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and salaries increased 1.0% in the three-month period ended December compared to September 2022. Wages and salaries increased 5.1% for the 12-month period ended December 31.
The European Central Bank and the Bank of England also hold their rate-setting meetings this week, with decisions due on Thursday. Both are expected to hike by 50 basis points.
In European equities on Wednesday, the CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX 40 in Frankfurt were both down 0.1%.
There was some good news for the eurozone, and the ECB, on Wednesday as a flash estimate from Eurostat showed that consumer price inflation slowed in January.
In January, the eurozone annual inflation is estimated at 8.5% last month, down from 9.2% in December. A year earlier, the inflation rate for January was 5.1%.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices in the eurozone fell by 0.4% in January.
The figures, however, do not include German inputs as they have been postponed.
“All in all, the data looks decent as a jump in core inflation has been avoided but uncertainty remains without final German figures. For the ECB, the muddied picture of inflation is annoying, but dont expect it to throw it off course for tomorrow. The jump in core inflation in some key countries will be enough for the central bank to confirm its current hawkish stance and add another 50 basis points to policy rates,” remarked ING Senior Economist Bert Colijn.
Eurostat also said the eurozone unemployment rate for December was 6.6%. This is stable compared with November 2022 and down from 7.0% in December 2021.
Meanwhile, the downturn in the eurozone’s manufacturing sector eased somewhat in January, according to survey results, as cost pressures faded.
The S&P Global eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to a five-month high of 48.8 in January from 47.8 in December.
At below the 50.0 no change mark, the reading shows the sector is still in contraction, though the pace has eased slightly.
The situation is “considerably brighter” than a few months ago, according to Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“Not only has the rate of output decline moderated now for three consecutive months, but business optimism about the year ahead has also surged higher over the past three months,” he said.
In the UK, the PMI from S&P Global showed the manufacturing sector continued to contract in January but input inflation eased.
The seasonally adjusted S&P Global-CIPS manufacturing PMI edged up to 47.0 points in January from December’s 31-month low of 45.3 and above the flash estimate of 46.7.
This marks the sixth consecutive month of contraction in UK manufacturing.
S&P noted that average input costs eased to a two-month low in January, however there was a slight uptick in selling price inflation.
Looking ahead, S&P said that manufacturers’ confidence is reviving from recent lows, hitting a nine-month high. However, it noted that the mood continues to be darkened by concerns over price inflation and the possibility of recession.
The pound was quoted at USD1.2327 at midday on Wednesday in London, down compared to USD1.2375 at the equities close on Tuesday. The euro stood at USD1.0895, higher than USD1.0861. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY129.84, down compared to JPY130.17.
In the FTSE 100, Ladbrokes- owner Entain gained 2.0%, making it one of the best performers of the morning.
The London-based gaming and sports betting firm lifted its outlook following a World Cup boost.
Entain said it expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for 2022 to be in the range of GBP985 million to GBP995 million. It had previously guided for a range of GBP925 million to GBP975 million.
At best, the new guidance represents a 13% rise from 2021’s Ebitda of GBP881.7 million.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, net gaming revenue rose 11% year-on-year and 7% at constant currency. Entain reported “record” online net gaming revenue. It rose 12% year-on-year, reflecting a “successful men’s World Cup, partly offset by weather disruptions to sporting fixtures”, Entain explained.
Looking ahead, Entain said it has started 2023 with “good momentum” across the business.
Telecommunications firm Vodafone was one of the worst FTSE 100 performers at midday.
It shed around 2.1%, after its CEO said “we can do better” as it reported that growth slowed in the third-quarter.
On an organic basis, service revenue rose 1.8% on-year during the quarter ended December 31. It had risen 2.5% yearly in the second quarter.
On a reported basis, service revenue was 1.3% lower on-year at EUR9.52 billion from EUR9.65 billion. Total revenue amounted to EUR11.64 billion, down 0.4% from EUR11.68 billion a year earlier, but up 2.7% on an organic basis.
“Although we’re continuing to target our financial guidance for the year, the recent decline in revenue in Europe shows we can do better. We need to do more for our customers by delivering quality connectivity in an easy way. We’ve already taken action, including simplifying our structure to give local markets full autonomy and accountability to make the best commercial decisions for their customers,” Chief Executive Margherita Della Valle said.
Della Valle became interim chief executive at the start of the year, replacing Nick Read who departed after just over four years in the top job.
interactive investor analyst Richard Hunter said: “[Wednesday’s] share price performance continues to reflect the enormity of the challenges ahead.
“Whether the newly appointed CEO can revitalise fortunes remains to be seen, but there is unquestionably a mountain to climb. As such, the jury remains out on immediate prospects, with the market consensus coming in at a hold, albeit a strong one.”
Vodafone backed its annual guidance, expecting adjusted Ebitda after leases between EUR15.0 billion and EUR15.2 billion. At best, that would be around the EUR15.21 billion achieved in financial 2022.
In the FTSE 250 index, London-based commercial property investor UK Commercial Property REIT lost 4.2%.
In the quarter to December 31, the company’s net asset value fells by 22% to 79.7 pence per share from 101.5p at September 30. NAV total return was negative 21%, compared to negative 7.9% a quarter ago.
However, the company reported a 12% rise in earnings per share to 0.82 pence as at December 31, up from 0.73p on September 30. It also declared a dividend of 0.85 pence per share for the quarter, up from 0.75p a year prior.
Brent oil was quoted at USD85.42 a barrel at midday in London on Wednesday up from USD85.27 late Tuesday. An OPEC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
Gold was quoted at USD1,929.43 an ounce up against USD1,927.04.
In addition to the Fed’s interest rate announcement, the economic calendar on Wednesday has a US manufacturing PMI and labour turnover survey.
By Sophie Rose, Alliance News reporter
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