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Cotton On to remove their line of offensive baby-wear, NCWNZ
Aug '09
The campaign launched by the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) calling for Cotton On to remove their line of offensive baby-wear has received strong support from a large number of organisations and now represents up to one million people.

In a recent Australian announcement Cotton On admitted that it had crossed the line and stated that the baby-wear would be removed from the Australian shelves.

The Australian withdrawal comes after outrage erupted over the slogan 'They shake me', that pokes fun at child abuse.

“A report recently showed that one child is admitted to hospital each week in New Zealand as a result of child abuse,” says Elizabeth Bang, NCWNZ National President, “that's no laughing matter”.

While Cotton On has announced the withdrawal of the product line from the Australian market; a similar announcement to the New Zealand market is noticeably absent.

“We are in a situation where Cotton On may have removed the cotton between its ears when it comes to Australian consumers,” said Elizabeth Bang, “however it continues to disregard the wishes of one million New Zealanders.”

“Cotton On needs to formally announce in New Zealand that these offensive items will be removed from our shelves and admit that branding babies with sexual slogans is inappropriate and irresponsible.”

NCWNZ has informed the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of the public concern over the prominence of offensive and sexual slogans being printed on children's clothing and enquired whether this issue has been captured in the existing code.

The number of organisations that have endorsed the boycott against Cotton On stores continues to grow. The following groups have formally announced their support:

• Auckland Association of Anglican Women
• New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPWNZ)
• The North Shore Women's Centre
• Working Women's Resource Centre
• Eating Difficulties Education Network (EDEN)
• Family First NZ
• Family Planning
• Council of Jewish Women of New Zealand
• Auckland Women's Centre
• Vision Network of New Zealand
• The New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women
• The Women's Studies Association New Zealand
• Christchurch Women's Refuge
• Child Alert NZ (ECPAT)

“It is obvious from the support we have received that the ongoing sexualisation of childhood is of serious concern to many individuals and organisations within New Zealand,” concludes Elizabeth Bang.

National Council of Women of New Zealand

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