Cotton On finally cottoned on

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Sorry, a bit slow on getting this on here.

From The Australian:

cotton_onCLOTHING company Cotton On has admitted it “crossed the line” and today vowed to withdraw a range of offensive children’s t-shirts, including one making light of child abuse, after a consumers threatened a boycott. A t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “They Shake Me” was the last straw for many angry parents, who sent emails and Twitter messages to the company this morning expressing their disgust and an intention to vote with their feet.

Last month Cotton On had stuck by its range of shirts, which included slogans such as “I’m a tits man” and “I”m living proof my mum is easy”, saying there was a place in the market for their “edgy” humour that pushed the boundaries.

But today, as anger spread through the social networking sites, Cotton On finally cottoned on to their customers’ feelings, offering a contrite apology and a promise to withdraw the offending items from sale.

“Cotton On Kids were 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,” the company’s statement released this afternoon said.

“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.

It promised to withdraw offensive products from sale and stop their production and “review the ongoing slogans range to ensure no reference is made to categories pertaining to sexually explicit behaviour, child abuse, drugs and profanity.”

“Although Cotton On Kids will continue to service a market that demands confident and edgy clothing that pushes boundaries, it has been recognised that certain references are not appropriate, and will sincerely endeavour to not cross these lines again,” the statement said.

Before the backdown, parents were livid at the t-shirt that made a joke of shaking babies.

Commenting on the family blog site MamaMia, many parents today said they planned to boycott the store.

“I don’t really have words to express my utter disgust at Cotton On Kids and their attempts to be “cool” and “hip” and “modern” with these appalling slogans,” wrote Angie.

Julie Gale from children’s rights lobby group Kids Free 2B Kids said Cotton On should be ashamed.

“Issues like the sexualisation and abuse of children aren’t humorous. They are serious. This retailer isn’t reading the mood of parents out there,” Ms Gale said.

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