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This is what Sussex freshers think of THAT gross beer matt in their welcome packs


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Sussex students have been left disgusted after they were given graphic 'spit or swallow' beer mats in their Dig-In Welcome Packs.

The beer mats, which were produced by the toothbrush subscription company Brushbox, feature an image of a woman's open mouth with a frothy white substance dribbling out.

Both the product and company behind it have since received widespread criticism for 'degrading women' to a porongraphic image', due to the way the mats have been designed to look as if a woman is giving oral sex. Perhaps even more shocking, is the hooked hole on the top of the mat, designed to fit over the nose.

We spoke to Sussex fresher, Teeva Tamali, who received the beer mat in her welcome pack and was “appalled" by the product.

"I can't believe this [was] seen as acceptable advertisement,” she told us. Adding: "(the mats) will lead to girls feeling pressured to give oral sex and to men expecting it. In a time of progressive change, the last thing we need is advertisement that degrades women and ultimately promotes rape culture."

Speaking to TNS, another female fresher at the University of Sussex, said: 

“I did a double take when I saw it! This would have been seen by designers, ad regulators, the university and the students packing the boxes. A single complaint during production would have surely gotten this pulled from the boxes. I can’t believe no one spoke up?”

The beer mats wording refers to whether you "spit or swallow". Many have reacted with shock that the the marketing team even managed to come up with the imagery and wording for these beer matts.

We asked Brushbox, who descirbe their toothbrushes as being "trendy (and) eco friendly", what they were thinking. They told us: "We are really sorry if anyone has been offended by the promotional image used on the beer mat which was distributed to Universities. We now realise it was inappropriate and misguided of us to use this type of image as a way to raise awareness of dental health issues.

“We completely understand that the image could be deemed as derogatory to women and for that we are truly sorry - this was never our intention, and we take full responsibility for any upset it has caused.

The welcome boxes are provided by Dig-In who supply boxes to universities and student accommodation providers across the UK, including Glasgow, Keele, Plymouth and other cities. They have assured consumers that the Brushbox beer matts will now not be included in the remaining 400,000 boxes it is distributing.

“Dig-In would like to apologise unreservedly for its part in distributing Brushbox’s promotional material. This insert, distributed in our freshers boxes, does not in any way reflect our high ethical standards and we have put immediate measures in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” the company said.

In a statement, Sussex University Student Union apologised for the sexist Brushbox material in the welcome box. They said: "The Student’s Union at Sussex does not condone the inappropriate material distributed on behalf of Brushboxes which was found in the Dig-In Boxes delivered to all Freshers this year." They also described how their Students’ Union "promotes equality and providing a safe and inclusive environment for all, and we are let-down by the events that have occured".








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