Sunday Star Times 12/06/2011
A website selling baby clothes featuring pictures of Hitler, Osama bin Laden and serial killers Ivan Milat, Ted Bundy and Charles Manson, is sparking outrage. The garments, ranging from rompers for newborn babies to T-shirts for children up to 12, are being sold by redbubble.com, an international artists website, which is a forum for aspiring and established artists. Included in the controversial range of children’s wear featured on the website are T-shirts bearing the words “Ted Bundy is Innocent” and “Serial Killer in Training” alongside graphic images. Other clothes feature images of a syringe and a spoon high-fiving each other with the slogan “Team work”, in reference to heroin use. The website has been forced to pull some of the range but some were still being sold yesterday.
Two years ago Cotton-On Kids sparked public outrage here by stocking baby clothes with slogans such as “I’m a tits man” and “Boobies make me smile”. In 2008 Family First New Zealand called on parents to boycott shops that stocked a line of T-shirts, carrying sexually suggestive slogans, for children as young as 10. The Little Losers line of T-shirts were emblazoned with slogans such as Miss Bitch, MrWell-Hung and Miss Floozy. Family First director Bob McCoskrie said this latest line of T-shirts was just another example of marketers pushing the boundaries too far. While adults might be able to see humour in the T-shirts, children would interpret them literally. “The danger is, in the worse case scenario, it feeds twisted minds,” said McCoskrie, who believes it is time New Zealand introduced tighter controls on the type of products that can be marketed to children.