Blog of Feminist Activism

The feminist activism of charliegrrl and co

WHSmith’s love for Playboy

Posted by charliegrrl on August 1, 2006

WHSmith are still selling Playboy merchandise. They have sections in their shops devoted to Playboy.

However, Argos have withdrawn their Playboy bedding after meeting with Child Protection agents.

And Sheffield Fems managed to get Claire’s Accessories and John Lewis to withdraw their Playboy merchandise.

Many people have emailed WHSmith in complaint about their Playboy merchandise and received pathetic responses:

“…we market this range to the late teen market and it is not our intention to position this range near items for younger children, for example our ‘Winnie the Pooh’ range. We are currently instructing all our stores to check the merchandising position of this range. The ‘Playboy’ range was introduced as response to current trends that appeal to our customers. We do not currently have any plans to withdraw this range from sale. I regret any disappointment my response may cause, however, we do try to strike the right balance in meeting the needs of all our customers – which inevitably means a compromise when customers have strongly differing views.”

Translation: we care more about profit than ethics. Lots of teenage girls buy this range, and as long as they demand playboy stationary, we will sell it to them, regardless of the immorality of promoting a porn brand to teenage girls. Because you see, the normalisation of porn makes us money. And as long as we are making money, we are happy
If you would like to complain, email

See also gendergeeks blog post

And Rachel Bell’s article in The Guardian,11812,1549273,00.html

Top photo Leeds WHSmith 22.06.06; Bottom photo Lancaster WHSmith 12.06.06

6 Responses to “WHSmith’s love for Playboy”

  1. Fuckers! I did a feature on the Playboy lines in Argos not so long ago, but WH Smiths are targetting this pornography-endorsing stationary at the back-to-school crowd! It’s morally disturbing and people wonder why the world is like it is today…

  2. Anonymous said

    Its good that Argos responded. Brillant result with John Lewis and Claires Accessories. It shows that complaining can work.

  3. Anonymous said

    Argos still have playboy duvets in the kids bedding section in their brand new catalgue. But its a double though so I think they assume that they think they can get away with that. But a double for kids beddings.

    They have a whole page of playboy watches!

  4. I’ve just checked out their website, and they do still sell loads of Playboy merchandise, including Playboy bedding for a single bed, thanks for pointing that out

  5. Child Playboy is targeted at girls, while Adult Playboy is targeted at men! and they say there’s no brainwashing going on?

    Playboy we are not as dim as your readers!

  6. Anonymous said

    The new catalogue doesn’t have playboy duvets in the kids bedding section. They have moved exactly the same duvet from the kids section in the old catalogue into a new page which is still very pink and so aimed at girls.–>

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