The property company's promotional video for the Deptford scheme - aka the Deptford Project - in which Martyn Evans, Creative Director of Cathedral Group explained how important the link-up was, because IP Global had such a good knowledge of the Asian market, was pulled from IP Global's You Tube account this morning after complaints from local residents*.
Until this morning IP Global had two films on its website - a 360 degree panorama of Deptford (which claims to have been made using 'drone technology' but looks more like they filmed it from the tower crane), and a promotional film with IP Global CEO Tim Murphy telling all that is great about investing in Deptford - now only the former remains. (See update below for a link to the film elsewhere)
(Believe me you didn't miss much in the latter, but you can probably get a good idea by reading IP Global's wincingly tired piece about Deptford that they published earlier this year when the deal was struck with Cathedral).
There has already been scrutiny of the marketing of these residential units, with Crosswhatfields blog pointing out last month that they were being pitched for more than half a million quid as buy to let investments.
Last week I came across the offending video, and tweeted about it with my comments:
Interesting to hear Cathedral spelling out (3 mins in) its main aim is to sell its Deptford Project flats in Asia https://t.co/jrgyICRCEN
— Deptford Dame (@deptforddame) November 19, 2014
The video was shared on various other places, including the Quay Point and Facebook's I Love Deptford group, where it caused mighty outrage and came to the attention of local resident Maria Livings.
She was so incensed she wrote to Cathedral Group CEO Richard Upton to complain about the company's crass marketing and make some very salient points about the housing issues that dominate our local area.
'The idea that this project is being sold to investors and that the coolness of artists is being touted as the reason why property prices are about to hurtle still further up is completely sickening. None of the interesting, creative people who have contributed to the vibrant culture of the area are able to afford to buy a home and their work spaces are being eliminated wholesale as developers buy up all the land to create yet more unaffordable housing.
I am an artist/designer and have lived and worked in the area for over 30 years. Although I initially lived in a council flat on Pepys Estate I was able eventually to get a shared ownership home in which I still live. As a result of being part of this fascinating creative community I have become quite successful and have developed a thriving business.
However, even though I am relatively well off there is no way I could afford to buy a home at today's prices. Where are the people who work in a coffee bar/Sainsbury's/school/garage in Deptford supposed to live? I don't suppose anyone at Cathedral knows or cares.
You may live in a parallel Universe where moral and social considerations are not an issue and therefore have no interest in anything except making money. However you must know that public opposition to this tastelessly marketed development will be strong. You have made no friends amongst local people and ensured that the cool, friendly vibe that you are using to sell your development will be greatly diminished as a result of your poor grasp of the socio-economic realities of the area.'
The offending video was taken down this morning and Maria has been invited to meet with Cathedral Group to discuss her concerns. She is asking others to join her in writing to the council and meeting with Cathedral - details on the Facebook group.
Cathedral's strong presence in south east London, with developments such as The Mvmt (eugh) on Norman Road, and Morden Wharf on the Greenwich Peninsula, not to mention their ongoing efforts to project a cuddly, fluffy not-like-every-other-property-developer image, presumably make them particularly sensitive to this kind of criticism.
Let's hope they aren't crass enough to try and exploit the meeting to their own advantage - the cynic in me suspects that they may see it as a good opportunity to get a well-respected local creative on their side, although something tells me Maria isn't the type to be taken in.
* Update: The film is still available for now on You Tube. If you enjoy watching a property developer salivating over the prospect of making shitloads of money, get there quick. But don't say I didn't warn you.