Thursday, 27 August 2009

"Edgy" Baby T-shirts Slammed as Offensive

Angry PC parents have forced Aussie clothing retailer Cotton On to pull a controversial line of baby clothes from the shelves in Australia and New Zealand.

The T-shirts featured "edgy" slogans for babies which many parents found offensive, including "I'm a tits man", "I'm living proof my mum is easy", "The condom broke", "I'm bringing sexy back", "Mummy likes it on top", and "They shake me".

Popular online parenting blog Mamamia sparked the initial email and Twitter campaign against the company, after readers took offence to the new Cotton On Kids range.

The company was chastised by one reader... "What the hell are you people thinking and how dare you try to turn children into the sickest kind of human billboards to advertise your smart arse and grossly insensitive slogans?".

Family and children lobby groups called on parents to boycott the company, including Family First New Zealand and the National Council of Women.

In a statement, Cotton On said the company was "unaware until recently that the slogans were being viewed as offensive and that they could progressively cause this extent of angst amongst consumers and social groups alike".

"Although these products are intentionally edgy and irreverent, and the succession of this range was driven by demand, the recent attention implies that the slogans in question have crossed the line. The Cotton On Group ... extends an apology to those who have been affected by the slogans."

Cotton On Kids says it will "continue to service a market that demands confident and edgy clothing that pushes boundaries" but that the company will "review the ongoing slogans range to ensure no reference is made to categories pertaining to sexually explicit behaviour, child abuse, drugs and profanity."

The National Council for Women NZ claims the current system of self-regulation allowed retailers to push the boundaries of what was considered socially acceptable, and were only forced to act responsible when cornered by public pressure.

I reckon Aussie and Kiwi parents are just disappointed it's taken this long to get something other than clothing with pink flowers and blue trucks for their kids. Popular US online t-shirt retailer T-Shirt Hell has been doing a hilarious range of "vaguely offensive" babies t-shirts for years!...

* Stuff - Offensive T-shirts to be removed
* HeraldSun - Mums outraged over saucy messages on infant clothes

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