Family First NZ is welcoming a decision by Australian clothing chain Cotton On Kids to withdraw their offensive and sexualised babywear from their 17 NZ-based stores.
“This came about as a result of pressure from Family First NZ, the National Council of Women, Vision Network, and Child Alert NZ (ECPAT) amongst others who called for a boycott of the company,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“In response to our complaints, the company have emailed Family First and said:
The Cotton On Group is an organisation that respects family, social and moral values and as a result would like to announce that the issue has been taken seriously and in agreeance, willingly extends an apology to those who have been affected by the slogans.
The Cotton On Group will also take the following actions in its Cotton On Kids brand to rectify the situation; – Stop production and withdraw the current items carrying the offensive slogans
– Review the ongoing slogans range to ensure no reference is made to categories pertaining to sexually explicit behaviour, child abuse, drugs and profanity.”
“This is a great result. Statements like “I’m a tits man”, “The condom broke”, “Pardon my nipple breath”, “I’m living proof my mum is easy” and “Mummy likes it on top” may be funny in an adult-setting but they are completely inappropriate when associated with very young children, and also when other young siblings are seeing the statements as well.”
Family First was successful with a similar call in 2008 when retailer Jay Jays pulled their Little Losers line of clothing shirts to teenagers and children as young as 10, which contained slogans such as “Miss B**ch”, “Miss Wasted” and “Miss Floozy”, and for boys “Mr Well-Hung”, “Mr Pimp”, “Mr A**hole” and “Mr Drunk”.
“We would ask the whole business community, which includes retailers, advertisers and the media, to demonstrate social leadership in this area. The sexualisation of children is a serious issue and this babywear is just one example of many where profits are being put before the safety and wellbeing of our children and families.”
“An undermining of the social prohibition of associating children with sexual connotations, and seeing children as sexual objects and sexually attractive, are all huge warning flags that profits are currently more important than protecting the wellbeing of our children. It’s time that changed,” says Mr McCoskrie.