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UK Retail Chain Withdraws “Lolita” Bed for Girl Children

by Medindia Content Team on  February 3, 2008 at 4:45 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
UK Retail Chain Withdraws “Lolita” Bed for Girl Children
Lolita is a celebrated literary character. The very name conjures up the image of sexually active teens.
The 1955 novel by Vladimir Nabokov portrays story of a stepfather's sexual obsession with a 12-year-old girl and has been adapted for film twice: first by Stanley Kubrick in 1962 and later in 1997.
But apparently the staff of retail chains do not seem to bother too very much about fiction, serious or otherwise.
So they went ahead and named a special bed meant for six-year-old girls Lolita, drawing furious protests. Finally the chain had to withdraw the model from the market posthaste.
It was the Woolworths who had recently introduced the Lolita Midsleeper Combi, a whitewashed wooden bed with pull-out desk and cupboard.
They were blissfully ignorant of what they had done till outraged mothers who seemed to know better protested furiously.
"What seems to have happened is the staff who run the company's website had never heard of Lolita, and to be honest no one else here had either," a spokesperson said.
"We had to look it up on (online encyclopedia) Wikipedia. But we certainly know who she is now."
She went on to say, "Now this has been brought to our attention, the product has been removed from sale with immediate effect."
She said the suppliers, who advertise the product on the Woolworths' website, would be asked how the branding came about.
Catherine Hanly, editor of parenting website raisingkids.co.uk, was among the parents to complain about the furniture.
"I expect a company like Woolworths to actually know what it means and the connotations and stuff," she told BBC Radio Five Live Breakfast.
"It has become a name that is synonymous with sexual precocity and the fact that it is tied to a girl's bed - it literally couldn't be worse taste."
It is not the first time retailers have been criticised for using branding with sexual connotations on goods marketed for children.
In 2005, WH Smiths came under fire for selling youngsters stationery bearing the Playboy bunny - a symbol of the pornography empire.
Prior to that Bhs had to withdraw its Little Miss Naughty range of padded bras and knickers for pre-teen girls after attracting criticism.

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