I was both saddened and pleased to read the letter regarding the shameful use of women in an advertisement for flooring.

Sad to see the return of such a low level of advertising and pleased that the correspondent's company recognised this and has said it will not use the company concerned.

On a similar note I attended a dinner on 19 January in the crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields. The venue was fantastic, the company stimulating, with a wide mixture of men and women attending the dinner. Then the after-dinner speaker appeared with a litany of "jokes" involving fake Indian voices, camp gay voices and basically a routine that threw us back to the 1970s. Within five minutes of the end of his act, the top table had left the building.

Maybe this is a lesson for all who have to select after-dinner speakers or advertising companies: it is not acceptable to be racist, sexist or homophobic in the 21st-century construction industry.

A Heath, London