department store chain has withdrawn "sexy" underwear aimed at girls
as young as seven after complaints from parents.
BHS described the children's underwear as
British Home Stores (BHS) was criticised for selling a range of
Little Miss Naughty underwear, based on the cartoon favourite.
The padded bras and briefs were described as "disgraceful" and
"ill-advised" by charities Childline and Kidscape.
BHS has now withdrawn the branded pants from sale, but has kept
the bras in its stores because it says they are aimed at older
The row started after Linda Foster, of Gateshead, spotted the
bras in the store's branch in Northumberland Street, Newcastle.
We would urge manufacturers and
retailers to think carefully about the messages their clothing
She said: "I think targeting them at girls as young as seven is
disgraceful, it gives out completely the wrong message to parents,
children and the people who abuse them.
"It is selling sex to kids. Girls shouldn't be thinking about
lingerie at their age or wanting to enhance their cleavage. They
should be playing with their friends not trying to look sexy."
A spokesman for BHS described the underwear range as "harmless
But he said the company had reconsidered its position on selling
the branded briefs and had decided to withdraw them from sale.
The bras come in a variety of colours and are priced at about £8.
They were sold to match briefs which start at age seven to eight.
'Welfare of the child'
Michelle Elliott, director of Kidscape, said: "You have to wonder
why a girl of under 10 would have need for a padded bra and it is
silly for a High Street company like BHS to be selling products like
"If these bras are being marketed at children under 10 then they
really need to have their heads examined."
William Kidd of the charity Childline said: "We believe anyone
selling or marketing lines to children and young people has a
responsibility to bear in mind the welfare and best interests of the
"Childline would urge manufacturers and retailers to think
carefully about the messages their clothing sends out and about the
child which will be wearing them."
The BHS spokesman added: "We take our responsibility to supply
appropriate clothing to children very seriously.