Brighton feminists have launched a petition against raunchy displays at Ann Summers in Western Road which feature whips and leather.
Jess Woodfall from the No More Page 3 campaign started the petition, which has so far been signed by 120 people, as she feels the displays are oversexualised, particularly as they can be seen by children and victims of sexual assaults.
She and others have complained to Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove City Council, but the displays don’t break any laws or breach regulations.
So instead she is hoping the store will bend to public opinion.
The petition reads: “The over sexualised content of the public window displays at Ann Summers, Western Road, Brighton is completely unnecessary and parents currently have no control over what their children are able to see.
“Additionally, sexual abuse victims and survivors are forced to see these images when they might otherwise choose to never have to see sexual images or soft pornography. They currently do not have this choice.
“A recent government report by the Children’s Commissioner, “Basically Porn is Everywhere” 2013, found that exposure to sexualized images is “damaging to children, negatively affecting their sexual development, relationships and self esteem and makes risky sexual behaviour more likely.”
“All this petition asks for is that Ann Summers UK put their sexualised images inside their stores so that the general public do not have to view them on a daily basis.”
The images have also been featured in stores around the country, where they have also attracted complaints – but the company says that any displays which have been taken down were removed purely because the Hallowe’en display had now ended.
A company spokeswoman said: ““Ann Summers always carefully considers every window display and how it will be interpreted by both our customers and the general public.
“As a responsible retailer, we like to strike an appropriate balance of on-brand communication and responsible marketing.
“As with any of our window campaigns, it is not our intention to cause offence.
“However, we believe our latest campaign portrays a positive message to our customers as it empowers and encourages women to feel sexually confident.
“At all times we value our customers, and the public’s, opinions and strive to achieve the right balance for satisfying both.”
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