Lush sparks widespread fury over anti-police posters on their shop windows
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Lush has been accused of being anti-police after they openly involved themselves in the controversial Spy Cops Public Inquiry. Lush store windows have been plastered in a mock crime-scene tape that says ‘Police Have Crossed The Line’ and 'Paid to Lie.' Staff have allegedly been seen handing out 'Spied Upon for Taking a Stand?' badges. The campaign began after the Metropolitan Police apologised to eight women who were unknowingly involved in relationships with undercover police officers. Lush is in a partnership with 'Police Spies Out Of Our Lives,' supporting victims and campaigning for the end of psychological and sexual abuse by undercover police officers. They are using their stores as a vehicle for raising awareness. On their website, Lush say that #SpyCops aims to 'disclose the cover names of the officers, the names of the groups they spied on, and RELEASE the personal files of the victims.' This is in response to the anonymity granted to undercover cops by the Undercover Police Inquiry which was launched in 2015. People have been encouraged to sign a petition urging the new Home Secretary Sajid Javid to carry out the Inquiry without secrecy and corruption.
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The campaign has recently been backed by former undercover Policeman Francis, who praised the accuracy of 'Paid To Lie', including being tasked with finding 'dirt' on Stephen Lawrence's family to discredit them. However, many have boycotted Lush, including those who support the police or are in the police force. One off-duty police officer successfully encouraged a branch in Peterborough to remove their window display. Lush have been overwhelmingly criticised, particularly by Javid, for furthering the stereotypes that the whole of the police force is corrupt and using their influential power as a brand to undermine public confidence in the services. Another critique of the brand’s hypocrisy suggests that they won’t hesitate to seek police assistance if they are victims of crime. Many others suggest that the campaign had good intentions but has been poorly executed. Furthermore, their rating on Facebook has gone down to 1.1 and the hashtag #FlushLush has been trending on Twitter. The negative reception to Lush’s endorsement of the Campaign has caused a lot of controversy around the brand and the use of their public influence.
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