A Tauranga hair salon's advertising ploy targeting "gingas" has outraged some red-heads who say the joke has gone too far.
A Bay of Plenty Times reader, who has a red-headed god-daughter, spotted a chalk board reading "Gingas welcome, we can fix that shit" outside Scarlet Hair Studio on Cameron Rd.
The woman, who spoke on the condition she was only identified as Jenny, said she realised the sign was tongue-in-cheek but was horrified the salon would put such a message out on the street.
Soon after the Bay of Plenty Times approached the salon owners yesterday a new message appeared reading "Sorry about last week's ginga sign ... Yeah right".
The sign is the latest in a series of advertising stunts that have upset red-headed Kiwis.
The Edge radio station's "Hug a Ginga Day" and an advertisement for Hakanoa Ginger Beer, offering a six-pack of ginger beer in exchange for any unwanted red-heads, both caused public backlash.
Tauranga resident Lisa Guy said she was proud of her red hair but found the salon's sign "offensive".
Miss Guy, 19, put up with remarks about her hair colour throughout school. "There is a social stigma that needs to be addressed," she said.
Scarlet Hair Studio owner Tavis Brush said the signs were meant as a joke - the salon even had a red-headed staff member.
"We just like to have a bit of fun.
"We attract a certain type of customer with a sense of humour - not everyone has a sense of humour," he said.
Tauranga psychologist Leanne Dunn, herself a red-head, said it would push some people's buttons but they should remember it was advertising and aimed to shock.
A Human Rights Commission spokesperson said hair colour was not one of the grounds for discrimination set out in the Human Rights Act.
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