Tesco condemned for selling pole dancing toy
COLIN FERNANDEZ / UK Daily Mail | October 25 2006
Tesco has been forced to remove a pole-dancing kit from the toys and games section of its website after it was accused of "destroying children's innocence".
The Tesco Direct site advertises the kit with the words, "Unleash the sex kitten inside...simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes and away you go!
"Soon you'll be flaunting it to the world and earning a fortune in Peekaboo Dance Dollars".
The £49.97 kit comprises a chrome pole extendible to 8ft 6ins, a 'sexy dance garter' and a DVD demonstrating suggestive dance moves.
The kit, condemned as 'extremely dangerous' by family campaigners yesterday, was discovered by mother of two Karen Gallimore who was searching for Christmas gifts for her two daughters, Laura 10, and Sarah, 11.
Mrs Gallimore, 33, of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, said yesterday: "I'm no prude, but any children can go on there and see it. It's just not on."
Dr Adrian Rogers, of family campaigning group Family Focus said yesterday that the kit would "destroy children's lives".
He said: "Tesco is Britain's number one chain, this is extremely dangerous. It is an open invitation to turn the youngest children on to sexual behaviour.
"This will be sold to four, five and six-year olds. This is a most dangerous toy that will contribute towards destroying children's innocence."
He added: "Children are being encouraged to dance round a pole which is interpreted in the adult world as a phallic symbol.
"It ought to be stopped, it really requires the intervention of members of Parliament. This should only be available to the most depraved people who want to corrupt their children."
Tesco today agreed to remove the product from the Toy section of the site, but said it will remain on sale as a Fitness Accessory, despite the fact that the product description invites users to "unleash the sex kitten inside".
Also on sale on the Tesco website is a strip poker game, "Peekaboo Poker" which is illustrated by a picture of a reclining woman in underwear.
The card game is is described as a game that "risks the risque and brings a whole lot of naughtiness to the table.
"Played with a unique pack of Peekaboo Boy and Girl playing cards, the aim of the game is to win as many Peekaboo chips as possible and turn them into outrageously naughty fun."
The pole dance kit is the latest item to fuel allegations that major retailers increasingly sell products which "sexualise" young children such as T-shirts with suggestive messages.
In recent years Asda was forced to remove from sale pink and black lace lingerie, including a push-up bra to girls as young as nine.
Next had to remove t-shirts on sale for girls as young as six with the slogan "so many boys, so little time."
And BHS and others came under fire for selling padded bras embellished with a "Little Miss Naughty" logo and t-shirts with a Playboy-style bunny that said "I love boys...They are stupid."
Tesco last night denied the pole dancing kit was sexually oriented and said it was clearly marked for "adult use".
A spokesman added: "Pole dancing is an increasing exercise craze. This item is for people who want to improve their fitness and have fun at the same time."
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