08/08/2017 12:24 BST | Updated 08/08/2017 13:05 BST

Pub Slammed For 'Sexist' Sign Advertising 'Naked Waitresses' Who 'Flirt' With Customers

'In this day and age?'

A pub has apologised after dividing the internet with a sign some slammed as “sexist”.

The Southern Cross pub near Middlesborough came under fire for the sign which read: “The naked truth about our waitresses is they only flirt with you to get a better tip.”

The words “naked”, “waitresses” and “flirt with you” were in bold. 

While some on Twitter said the sign was funny, others branded it “demeaning” and “appalling”.

The pub sign initially sparked debate after it was shared by Twitter user Jessica Costello, who called it “rude and completely disrespectful”.

Her sentiments were shared by others online, including MP Anna Turley, who said the sign was “appalling”. 

According to the Northern Echo, Emma Chesworth, a local female rights campaigner, said: “If you have to use that to sell your product then you must be desperate.

“It is demeaning to the staff and it is obviously only targeting their male customers.

“They are effectively saying they expect their female staff to flirt with customers. That isn’t in the job description.”

However, others on Twitter said the sign was just a “bit of fun”.

In response to the criticism staff at the pub, which is part of the Greene King group, decided to remove the sign.

“We apologise for displaying this inappropriate sign,” a spokesperson for the Southern Cross told HuffPost UK. 

“It was written by a team member and meant to be light-hearted but on reflection we understand it was offensive.

“We took it down on Sunday and would like to say sorry to anyone who was offended.”