The Sun shines on ‘sexed-up Superdrug’

Posted: April 25, 2013

Last week The Sun ran a story looking at Ann Summers products in Superdrug stores. The newspaper, famous for its topless Page 3 models, took the moral high ground when it sent a woman into a central London branch accompanied by her five-year-old daughter, Ruby. While the piece focused on the appropriateness of rabbits, “c**k rings” and jiggle balls in a ‘family-friendly’ shopping environment, the reporter also commented on the convenience of picking up a little something for herself (a slimline rabbit, “for journalistic reasons”) without having to bump into her mother outside Ann Summers.

However, the branch of Superdrug came in for criticism too. Throughout the half-page article – entitled, ‘We send mum out shopping in sexed-up Superdrug’ – the challenge of browsing with an inquisitive child was referred to. Not least with a sub headline asking, ‘Mummy, what’s a jiggle ball?’

The feature continued: “But when we got to the back of the store near the pharmacy, I noticed a slim black shelving unit, placed strategically next to the family planning and podiatry section of the shop. Bingo! I casually wandered round with Ruby in tow and noticed the products, including the infamous Rampant Rabbit were beautifully, tastefully packaged like a glossy new gadget from the Apple store that tempted you to stroke the expensive-looking box. I loved the fact that they were east to glance at and read the content of without the embarrassment of walking through the door of an Ann Summers store…”

With sanitary products also referenced as a hazard of shopping with a young daughter, the main issue the female reporter had with the risqué nature of Superdrug’s new test lines was how they were displayed rather than what they were. She commented on adult products on shelving at a child’s eye level not being particularly conducive to a relaxing retail experience.