Sexism charges prompts startup to change online ads

The experience of a new Austin-based online art dealer demonstrates the dangers of advertising campaigns that rely on sex appeal.

Twyla Inc. has pulled a Facebook ad after receiving negative reviews; experts disagree on whether the dustup will affect the startup’s business.

The company, with former HomeAway Inc. CEO Brian Sharples as chairman, posted ads under the heading “Get some” that featured a photo of a young woman removing or putting on a white top. The photo was overwritten with the words “Recently single. Buy art.”

On Oct. 13, Art F City, a New York-based art news website, referred to Twyla’s advertisement as “the most offensive art ad on the Internet.”