An award-winning real estate agent has pulled an advert featuring scantily clad women cleaning a sports car.

Ray White Manukau City agent Nelson Takle put the promotional advertisement on his company Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites on Friday.

But he withdrew it yesterday after criticism the ad treated women as "objects and subservient".

The clip, set to music, features three women in string bikinis and skimpy cut-off shorts bending over and washing a car emblazoned with Nelson Takle - Realty Specialist.

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It features the tag line "It's good to be me".

When contacted by the Herald on Sunday, Takle agreed it wasn't "your typical real estate ad" and said he "got a bit bored and wanted to have a bit of fun - mix it up".

"My other ads don't really feature girls or anything it was just an idea I got from a friend who had done a similar thing for his motorcar company. I thought 'oh yeah that's cool'."

The advertisement was made through an app where a pre-shot video is personalised with a company or individual's logo for a fee.

Takle didn't think anyone would be offended by the advertisement, which was made online through a company in America.

But he later sent a text message and said he had removed the advertisement and was sorry for any offence.

"It was just meant to be good fun."

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter described it as "awful".

"This ad is so last century," she said.

"Women, and most men, don't find this type of advertising acceptable anymore."

Genter said the advertisement, which had been viewed by more than 350 people overnight, "sent the wrong message to little girls, and everyone else that women are objects and subservient".

"Someone should send the agency a memo: 'Grow up and get with the times'."

Women's advocate Louise Nicolas was shocked by the advertisement and said she believed it would breach Advertising Standards Authority rules.

"I think it is absolutely disgusting and has nothing at all to do with real estate. When are we going to move past this?" Nicholas asked.

Hilary Souter from the Advertising Standards Authority said anyone who was taking care of their own advertising needed to be aware of their legal obligation.

The Code for People in Advertising states: "People should not be portrayed in a manner which uses sexual appeal simply to draw attention to an unrelated product."

The authority had upheld complaints about sexual content in real estate advertising on other occasions.

A complaint about an advertisement by Waitakere Real Estate Ltd in Auckland was upheld in 2013.

An advertisement for the sale of two homes showing covered female breasts and captioned "A Great Pair" was found to be an exploitative and a gratuitous objectification of the woman, the complaints board ruled.

Other sexually charged advertisements that had no relevance to what they were promoting have been banned in New Zealand.

In 2013 and 2014 advertisements for American burger chain Carl's Jr were labelled "pointlessly raunchy" and could not screen here.

Asked if Takle was aware of advertising standard laws, he said he thought you could put "whatever you wanted" on social media.

Ray White Manukau director Adam Thomson said he "had no knowledge of the video being posted and we are currently investigating".