Lately we have begun seeing a commercial from the Canadian Real Estate Association that depicts a bunch of "motorcycle club" members from the Satan's Undertakers who ride up to a house just purchased by a couple who didn't use a Realtor.

Here is the commercial:

While funny on the face of things, this commercial perpetuates the stereo type that "Bikers" are bad neighbours. 

Now the vests these guys are wearing all have a 1% diamond on them, and you and I who ride, know the difference between a 1% club, a traditional outlaw MC and a riding club  - RIGHT?

But does Joe Q Citizen know the difference? To be honest, I doubt it...most riders don't know the difference anymore.

And there in lies the problem. How many people who are already intimidated by motorcyclists thanks to the main stream media, the 1% clubs and the police services and the way the 1% clubs are portrayed and spoken about - how many are going to watch this and have their fears further entrenched?.

To me, commercials like these are ill advised. Though they may be funny on the surface, the underlying message is not so funny and it hurts all who ride as it perpetuates the outdated image of our community.

Commercials like this add to the social barriers and the stigma that can accompany riding a motorcycle.

I was doubly surprised by this commercial because of the fact that the Realtors host their own charity rides. Lots of Realtors ride.  Here is the link to but one of them: Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation Motorcycle Ride for Charity

So I reached out to the association, and had an email conversation if you can call it that, with a man named Pierre Leduc.

Here is my email to him:
Dear Pierre Leduc,

I am writing about your unfortunate parody commercial that shows a Bike Gang - see attached video.
For an organization that has a charity fundraising ride involving Realtors who ride, I am quite surprised that you would choose to use the Biking Community as an example of bad neighbours.  While on the face of it, it is funny, it is commercials like this that stereotype our community and enforce the social barriers we currently face.

Can you please tell me why you did this? Why would you hurt our community in this way?

Here is is answer to me:

Ms. Charbonneau,

Thank you for reaching out.

This particular advertisement fits in with an ongoing series of commercials, using humour to highlight some of the potential pitfalls of not using a REALTOR® when buying a property. Over the past few years, we’ve had new owners woken up in the middle of the night by a SWAT team, another couple having to stay in a seedy hotel due to closing date mix-up, while another couple discovered they had purchased a haunted house when a bus tour stops out front as they’re moving in.

Our ads have been recognized by the advertising industry, and have won a number of awards.

You may be surprised to discover that many REALTORS® and CREA staffers are also riders. For example, we use our website and blog to promote the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation Motorcycle Ride for Charity.

I am pleased that you do see the humour in the ad. Rest assured that we are not using the biking community as an example of bad neighbours. We were sure that by having the gang wear ‘colours’ with the gang name ‘Satan’s Undertakers’ that it was clear (at least to us) that this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill neighbor who likes to ride a Harley, but rather some organized criminal enterprise.

I hope you find this explanation addresses your concerns.

Warm regards,
Pierre Leduc

Pierre Leduc
Media Relations / Relations auprés des mé
The Canadian Real Estate Association / L'Association canadienne de l'immeuble
200 Catherine Street, 6th Floor / 200, rue Catherine, 6e étage    Ottawa, ON K2P 2K9
Tel/Tél: +1 (613) 237-7111    Fax/Téléc: +1 (613) 234-2567

I asked for further dialogue and was shut down completely.

I am disappointed with the interaction with the Canadian Real Estate Association.
I do not think that they truly understand how damaging to the riding community commercials like this can be. I think the commercial is short sighted and derogatory.

Is the commercial funny? Yeah, on some levels, is it the smartest or funniest commercial in their series? No.  Is this commercial ill advised? I think so.

And that's how I see it - what say you?

In other News, Two Hills Alberta and Moncton New Brunswick will be duking it out for the title of Canada's MOST Rider Friendly Community, 2015 - final voting begins at 11:59:59 MST on April 1. is the place to cast your vote.

Have a blessed day and if you are fortunate enough to be riding today, please remember to ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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  1. Well seeing as how they have quite the sense of humor regarding motorcycle riders, and don't mind portraying them in a bad light, perhaps their next commercial could incorporate a Muslim family next door. The neighbour could knock on the door, dressed in traditional middle eastern clothing, wearing a long beard and demand they convert to Islam, or he will detonate a suicide vest. Wouldn't that be hilarious? How about a African American family neighbour demanding they join the "black Liver Matter" movement, or they will loot and burn their house to the ground? Just a couple of ideas for them, seeing as how they have such a great sense of humor when it involves stereo-typing people.

  2. After seeing this commercial, I was wondering how long it would take the biker community to speak up. 3 piece & 1% er by simply buying a house? We may understand how ridiculous this is but Joe Public does not.

  3. I'm 61 and have had a bike of one kind or another(usually running :) )for close to 40 of those years, ...I think it was pretty funny and not terribly offensive at all. But then I'm in the logging industry AND a biker so my range of humour runs from Benny Hill to 70 & 80's Hustler cartoons(they were SO disgusting I feel shame :) ) to watching kitty videos on Youtube.......and let's face it, if someone watches a purposely funny ad and thinks that's how you get to be a 1%er, you not gonna get through to them ENJOY life and get a giggle or two whenever and whenever you can.

  4. OK, Question here. Most full patch MC members that do display the 1% diamond patch that I have seen is yellow diamond with black embroidery. What is the significance of the black 1% diamond used in the commercial? An error or a deliberate choice on behalf of the producer not to offend the Outlaw MCs?

  5. Since they wouldn't respond to me - You'd have to ask the Real Estate Association of Canada