Lush remove #SpyCops posters from some shops after 'intimidation from ex-police officers'

'Never thought I would see a mainstream British retailer running a public advertising campaign against our hardworking police', said home secretary Sajid Javid

Oliver Wheaton
Monday 04 June 2018 10:40 BST
Lush staff take down #SpyCops ad campaign

Cosmetics chain Lush has removed its controversial campaign posters from some shops after it claimed to have been facing intimidation from ex-police officers.

The company caused outrage recently after launching the #SpyCops campaign, which saw posters placed in shop windows featuring police officers and the words "paid to lie", along with faux police tape emblazoned with the words: "Police have crossed a line".

However some shops have removed the posters from their windows, allegedly due to intimidation from ex-officers.

The campaign has been described by Lush as an attempt to raise awareness of the “ongoing undercover policing scandal where officers have infiltrated the lives, homes and beds of activists”.

Undercover police operations have faced criticism in recent years after revelations that some undercover officers have engaged in romantic relationships and even fathered children with protestors who belonged to groups they were trying to infiltrate.

In a statement the company said: "Whilst intimidation of our shop staff from ex-police officers and unhelpful tweets from those in high office are ongoing, not all of our shops feel able today to have the campaign window in their shops.

"However the campaign is still running for three weeks and we will be constantly weighing up what to do about the situation."

Home secretary Sajid Javid was one of those critical of the campaign, tweeting: "Never thought I would see a mainstream British retailer running a public advertising campaign against our hardworking police.

"This is not a responsible way to make a point."

Lush's York store reportedly removed the posters from its windows yesterday after staff said they were not comfortable with the campaign.

Twitter user Paddy Reeve claimed that a Lush store in Peterborough removed the posters "as a direct result" of his visit to the shop.

Calum Macleod, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said in a statement: “The Lush advertising campaign is offensive, disgusting and an insult to the hard work, professionalism and dedication of police officers throughout the UK.

“I cannot believe that someone, somewhere, actually thought this campaign was a good idea. All it serves to do is to criticise police officers and encourage an anti-police sentiment. Police officers already face enough abuse from those who break the law and are a menace to society, without the need for a cosmetic company to start putting the boot in too.

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