Mia Freedman’s: Cotton On – are you on crack?

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cotton_on_kidsI don’t often copy paste stories direct from other people’s blogs, but in this case, I don’t think I could rant on about this issue any better than how Mia Freedman has perfectly put it on her site.

Remember the issue a few weeks back about the Cotton On baby t-shirts etc. Well, sit down and prepare yourself, it just got a WHOLE LOT WORSE.

From Mia Freedman’s website: www.mamamia.com.au:

Yesterday, I was contacted by MM reader, Elizabeth, who was upset at the latest slogan t-shirt she saw at Cotton On Kids AND IT’S WORSE THAN “I’m a tits man”…

Check this out – Elizabeth and her mother were shopping at the Cotton On Kids store in Kotara and was aghast to see a baby t-shirt with the slogan: “They Shake Me”

I think my eyes just exploded and I lost the ability to type. Oh wait! Back again! Just in time to say this:


Elizabeth contacted the store via email and wrote the following:

I was in your Kotara store yesterday and saw a baby t-shirt with “They Shake Me” emblazoned across the front. Can you please explain the thinking behind this? Is this supposed to be funny? Thank you – look forward to your response.

The response she got was standard fob-off stuff – no doubt prepared after the furore that ignited a couple of weeks ago over their other charming t-shirts with slogans such as “I’m A Tits Man” and “Living Proof My Mum Is Easy”.

Thankyou for your recent enquiry regarding our KIDS slogan range. We appreciate your feedback and giving us the opportunity to respond.
The products in the current spotlight are a small percentage of the total slogan range. Others include lines such as “I heart Dad”, “It’s not easy being a princess”, “Dad and I agree”, “My mummy’s the best”, and “My daddy my hero” to name a few.

Cotton On Kids services all personalities including a market that demands confident and innovative children’s clothing. These products are intentionally edgy and irreverent and are certainly not meant to be taken seriously. 99% of our product and advertising depicts a playful and endearing confidence that simply encourages what makes kids cute.
The slogan products aren’t for everyone and in an effort to continue meeting the demands of all our customers, we constantly update and changing our range.
If you would like to give anymore feedback on what slogans you think are acceptable, please re-visit our website in the Contact Us section and select Press/Marketing Enquiries in the Subject field.

Again, thankyou for taking the time to let us know what you think.
Kind Regards

So she wrote back, asking the company to clarify whether they were, in fact, endorsing or making a joke about child abuse – shaking babies, in case you didn’t know – is responsible for the brain damage and death of babies every year.

IS THAT FUNNY, COTTON ON? IS IT? IS IT FUNNY TO JOKE ABOUT BABIES BEING ABUSED???? (they’re my words, not Elizabeth’s – she was far more restrained and polite).

And this is the response she got back:

Thank you yet again for your email.
We appreciate your feedback however we have not made any further decisions on our slogan tees,
Thanks for your time Elizabeth.

Kind Regards,

I am not going to publish the name or email address of the ‘marketing assistant’ who sent these emails because let’s be kind and assume that she is merely the messenger, not the decision-maker. What’s truly frightening is how many people along the Cotton On food chain must have approved this line and this slogan in particular.

What the hell are you people thinking and how dare you try to turn children into the sickest kind of human billboards to advertise your smart arse and grossly insensitive slogans?

What’s next Cotton On? Kids t-shirts that say “My Parents Sexually Abuse Me”? Or what about “My Parents Bash Me”? That would be hilarious, wouldn’t it!!

Internet, I am outraged, disgusted and distressed. I am a customer of Cotton On Kids. A long-time, loyal customer who buys a STACK of clothes there for my kids and who willingly endorses their products FOR FREE whenever I am interviewed by the media and asked where I buy my kids clothes.

But Cotton On? Listen hard. I will not be setting foot inside any of your stores – not your kids stores or your adult stores or your Rubi shoes stores – until you discontinue this appalling line of slogan t-shirts and issue some kind of apology.

You might also like to think about making a donation to Childrens’ Hospitals around Australia who face the grim reality of babies who HAVE been shaken. Sometimes to death.

If you share my feelings, and those of Elizabeth, I encourage you to vote with your wallet and to share your thoughts and purchasing decisions with Cotton On via email RIGHT HERE.

If that link doesn’t work, the email address is: customerenquiries@cottonon.com.au

And please forward and Re-tweet this post to everyone you know who shops at Cotton On Kids.

Couldn’t have said any of that any better even I tried! Go on do your bit. The last couple of weeks have made realise how important people power is! We all whinge about stuff, now let’s actually do something about it!

  • Pip Streeter
    August 14, 2009

    I saw this too – and have already emailed them… what an appalling thing to link their brand image with – that anyone in the organisation would endorse and approve these sentiments is abhorrent. Wonder if they’ll get a shock at how powerful “mother networks” might be in boycotting their stores?!

  • Ami
    August 14, 2009

    Thanks Pip. Let’s hope everyone gets on board. I was literally dumbfounded. You have to wonder who approved it in the first place.

  • Ben
    August 17, 2009

    My guess is the people that approved this sort of rubbish are the kind of people that will or never and should nevr have children of their own. The kind of people that turn their noses up at mothers and father, and wonder why anybody would ever have children. In other words SAD PEOPLE!!!!!

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