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Wiltshire Police Federation

Lush drops controversial 'SpyCops' campaign

9 June 2018

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LUSH has dropped its controversial 'SpyCops' campaign after a huge backlash from customers and police officers.

Swindon shoppers had been outraged and confused by the cosmetics retailer's eye-catching shop window.

Every branch of the shop, including the one in Swindon's town centre, featured police tape saying 'Police have crossed the line' and a video showing a police officer in uniform and the words 'Paid To Lie'.

The campaign related to a public inquiry into claims of wrongdoing by undercover officers who infiltrated activist groups in England and Wales.

It was apparently designed to urge Home Secretary Sajid Javid to listen to campaigners who have accused the inquiry of protecting officers.

However, Lush failed to clearly communicate this message to the masses, as people walking past the e window display thought that the company were condemning the work of all police officers.

When the Adver spoke to passerby in the town centre, they universally expressed concern about the display and the campaign.

Tim Griffiths from West Swindon had said:"I think it's appalling, it says that police are universally being paid to lie and I disagree with that."

Heidi Liesl from Highworth had said: "I don't think it's a good idea to have an anti-police advert slap-bang in the middle of the town centre.

"They're putting the police down, they're saying the police are paid to lie but they're paid to protect us.

"This is annoying because I usually love Lush and what they stand for in relation to animal welfare, but this is too far."

The Advertising Standards Authority received over 30 complaints about Lush's campaign but had been unable to act on them as it was outside their remit.

The Police Federation representing England and Wales also wrote an open letter of complaint to the ASA.

Lush had defended the SpyCops campaign and clarified that it was not 'anti-police', but today it announced that it had suspended the campaign "for the safety of our staff".

It is not known whether the campaign will be reinstated before its previously-planned end date of June 17