One day after having to take a ‘psycho ward’ fancy dress costume off sale amid a public outcry, Tesco has been caught out by yet another rogue item on its Tesco Direct website – this time, an inflatable “gay best friend” doll.
The doll, which was pitched as an “ideal gift for hen nights, birthdays and Christmas stockings”, was uploaded to the Tesco Direct website via a third-party seller and removed by Tesco two months ago, before any dolls had been sold. However, the Tesco Direct web page with the doll remains visible online, even though the item is not for sale.
The doll came with the description: “Your inflatable g*y best friend is ready to give you fashion advice, tell you if your bum looks big and b**ch about everyone who doesn’t wear Jimmy Choos.”
A Tesco spokeswoman said Tesco agreed the item was offensive, adding: “This product was uploaded to the website by a third-party seller but was removed from sale immediately because we found it offensive. The web page should have been removed at that time, and we are looking into why it is still visible two months later. We have very clear guidelines for third-party sellers who list items on our website, and are very sorry that on this occasion they weren’t followed.”
Its discovery has attracted criticism on Twitter, particularly the fact the word “gay” was rendered as “g*y”, as if it were a swear word.
It comes after Tesco yesterday apologised and delisted a ‘psycho ward’ Halloween fancy dress costume on Tesco Direct, which was criticised for being insensitive to people with mental illness. Earlier, Asda delisted a similar ‘mental patient’ costume and pledged to make a £25,000 donation to mental health charity Mind.
Although Tesco has removed the inflatable gay best friend doll from sale, a similar item remains available via Amazon UK. Shoppers can currently buy an “instant inflatable gay best friend in a box” for £4.99, with the promise that the doll “loves to shop” and “gives great fashion tips”.
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