Employees who are working in Lush stores across the United Kingdom have been ordered to take down the posters for the controversial SpyCops campaign of the store following a backlash from the public.
The campaign was launched last Friday. It said that undercover police officers, some of whom had connections with activists, had been “paid to lie.”
Outraged shoppers took their concerns to social media to express their disgust with the campaign of the cosmetic company, with many making use of the #FlushLush hashtag on Twitter.
A statement that was released by the Police Federation described the said campaign to be “damaging and distasteful.”
Calum Macleod, chair of the organisation, stated: “The Lush advertising campaign is offensive, disgusting and an insult to the hard work, professionalism and dedication of police officers throughout the UK.”
He continued: “I cannot believe that someone, somewhere, actually thought this campaign was a good idea.”
A video that was posted on Twitter revealed that employees at the Peterborough branch of Lush were taking down a poster after an off-duty police officer expressed his concerns regarding the said campaign.
On social media, Liz Groom, the chair of the Cambridgeshire Police Federation disclosed: “One of our officers went and had a polite and constructive discussion with the manager of Lush Peterborough who then removed the display.”
Another incident happened at a branch that is located in Dudley, as the Merry Hill shopping centre, where the branch is located, stated: “We are aware of the campaign that Lush is currently running and have spoken to the store about this. They have removed the display. We believe shopping centres should be non-confrontational and politically neutral spaces.”
The Sunday Times reported that posters at the Watford store of the chain had been removed from the windows after employees were subjected to verbal abuse.
A member of the management team stated: “We have had people come in and shout at our staff today. It was intimidating for them. They are young, 16, 17 and 18. We took it down within the first two hours.”
The marketing regulator the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) revealed that it had received approximately 30 complaints regarding the ad, however, it would not be taking further action as the said issue is beyond its remit.
In a statement that was released by Lush, it defended its campaign, saying that it was not an “anti-police campaign,” and that the firm was “aware that the police forces of the UK are doing an increasingly difficult and dangerous job.”
The company wrote: “This campaign is not about the real police work done by those front line officers who support the public every day – it is about a controversial branch of political undercover policing that ran for many years before being exposed.”