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Offending items off Farmers Dept Store shelves

Farmers department stores take offending items off the shelves

Offending items off the shelves http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/nelsonmail/0,2106,2901908a6007,00.html 08 May 2004

Farmers department stores have pulled a range of items from their shelves after Nelson College headmaster Salvi Gargiulo accused the chain of promoting anti-male messages.

The announcement follows a small protest from Nelson men outside the local branch on Friday, which called for a boycott of the store.

Farmers Group managing director David Norman said on Friday night that the company had received about 12 e-mail complaints from customers and had decided to remove the David and Goliath brand products carrying the slogans. Lines such as "Boys are stupid: throw rocks at them" and "Stupid factory: where boys are made" were printed on slippers and bags. Only about six products were affected.

"Can we put this into perspective? Farmers sell 300,000 different products and we've got two or three where a couple of words have caused offence," Mr Norman said.

"It's meant to be funny but people have taken it the wrong way, I think."

Mr Gargiulo earlier this week called for a boycott of the products.

Mr Gargiulo said he realised the items were supposed to be funny but they gave a "terrible message to young boys".

He had been inundated with support since he spoke out about the items.

He chose not to join the protest outside the Nelson Farmers organised by Bruce Dyer, because the issue was not just about the store. "It shouldn't all fall on Farmers, its society's problem."

NZ Father and Child Society president Philip Chapman, who was part of the protest, said people needed to be more aware of the putting down of men that goes on.

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