Thousands of outraged parents have signed a petition against lingerie company Honey Birdette’s “porn-style” advertising on shop fronts.
The petition, which has so far gained more than 30,000 signatures, was launched by a Melbourne father who was “sad” and angry after his two young children were exposed to the advertising while shopping.
“This shop front featured near-naked women clad only with sheer lingerie in all their raunchy glory,” Kenneth Thor explained.
“These images are not something that I wanted my young kids to see, so I hurried past hoping that my kids would not notice.”
"My heart sank as my four-year-old daughter suddenly shrieked, 'Look! Why is she not wearing any clothes?'. Even worse, her shrieks caught the attention of my six-year-old son, who came running and together they stared and pointed at the porn-style images trying to make sense of them."
The petition calls on Westfield Group's CEOs, Peter and Steven Lowy, to "stop Honey Birdette from using porn-style advertising... in Westfield’s family-friendly shopping centres".
Mamamia columnist Rebecca Sparrow is one parent in favour of greater restrictions on the lingerie store's advertising and she has urged her followers to sign the petition if they agree.
"I cannot tell you how much this pisses me off," she wrote in an impassioned Facebook post on Saturday morning.
"I can fill our home with books about amazing, inspiring women. I can teach my kids that men and women are equal and that a woman's worth is not indexed to her looks. And then .... and then we go shopping and see this crap.
"No wonder our kids are so confused. What messages are they constantly being sold about women?"
Sparrow clarified her beef was not with the underwear itself, but with the way the women in the images were portrayed - in an overly sexualised manner.
Meanwhile, Honey Birdette has labelled the petition's claims the advertising is pornographic as ridiculous.
"You'll see more flesh at the beach," managing director Eloise Monaghan told Fairfax.
"We've spent the last 11 years empowering women, all this group wants to do is disempower women, it's 2017 it's time to grow up."
When dad Kenneth Thor said that when he spoke to the Westfield Fountain Gate customer retail experience manager, he was told Honey Birdette's storefront ads met the Advertising Standards code.
On Thursday, an Advertising Standards Bureau spokesperson told Fairfax Honey Birdette had received complaints against its advertising, some of which were found to breach standards. "But an equal number have been found to be acceptable," she said.
"With lingerie advertising, what we find is that there are always some people who find it offensive regardless of how it's advertised."
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Feature image: Instagram/honeybirdette.