Woolworths has withdrawn a kids' bed from its online tenctacle after campaigning parents objected to the fact it was rather unfortunately called the "Lolita Midsleeper Combi".
The outrage was spotted earlier this week by the editor of Raisingkids.co.uk, Catherine Hanly, who promptly asked in the site's forums: "Am I being particularly sensitive, or does anyone else out there think it's bad taste for Woolies to have a kiddy bed range named 'Lolita'?"
A concerned poster replied: "What on earth kind of parents would buy this for their children? OK, you might not know the significance of the name, fair enough, but SOMEBODY at Woolies thought this was as suitable name for a child's bedding range and I am willing to bet that they DID know the significance of the name."
Another wrote: "I am appalled at woolworths stupidity. The term lolita nowadays refers to a sexually precocious child!!!! taken from the novel and films of the same name. how much encouragement does the paedophile community need!"
Hanly duly contacted Woolies' press department for comment, and one Daniel Himsworth replied by email: "I will investigate this and come back to you later on this afternoon."
A Raisingkids reader also got in touch with the company to "register her distaste" and was told: "Our aim is to attract a broad customer base of all ages and make every effort to stock items, which appeal to the whole family. However, we also have to respond to customer demands and follow current trends."
In this case, it was irate customer demands which provoked a response, and while the debate raged down at Raisingkids, Woolworths pulled the offending bed from its website. A press officer subsequently called Raisingkids to explain: "This was one product sold online and in the Big Red Book [paper catalogue] and quite naturally the people who arranged it had no idea about that word. They'd never heard of the word and in fact, neither had I. I had to go on to Wikipedia to find out the meaning of the word."
Raisingkids concluded: "It's good to know that Raisingkids.co.uk and its readers have such influence, isn't it?" ®
You may not now be able to get the Lolita Midsleeper Combi down at Woolworths, but you can at least pick up a copy of the film. Those of you who are not familiar with its controversial content are directed to Wikipedia for enlightenment.