Peterborough MP halts shop’s sex promo

Exterior of Ann Summers shop at Bridge street, Peterborough
Exterior of Ann Summers shop at Bridge street, Peterborough
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Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson has helped to end an “inappropriate” campaign by a high street store which he claims promoted sex.

Mr Jackson stepped into to complain about Ann Summers’ “Summer of Sex” promotion which invited customers to dress up in bikinis to get free swimwear and to eat ice creams covered in different flavour lubricants.

The campaign was promoted in stores across the UK including its branch in Bridge Street, Peterborough, which prompted a complaint by one of Mr Jackson’s constituents.

The MP wrote to the company and initially said that he recived no reply. But he then got a letter from the firm’s brand director Fiona Davis saying that, in light of his letter, the promotion was being totally withdrawn.

Mr Jackson said: “I’m not a prude but I feel that when one of my constituents complains to me that they found this inapropriate then I have a duty to act.

“I don’t wish to affect the company’s business and I wish them well but I personally found the promotion tacky and distasteful.

“When you consider that this promotion was being advertised in store windows up and down the country, many impressionable young children were getting a wrong impression.

“From a political point of view you can’t going around spending thousands of pounds trying to prevent teen pregnancies and then turn a blind eye to a campaign promoting sex.”

Mr Jackson added: “To be fair to Ann Summers they have been open and up-front about things and agreed to cancel the campaign.”

Nobody from Ann Summers was available to comment when contacted yesterday.

In her letter to Mr Jackson, Fiona Davis said: “We have an over-18 policy in store and discourage children from participating in adult aspects of the brand. We consider our brand and marketing campaigns with great care to ensure the appeal is targeted to our customers and to avoid causing upset or offence. In light of these concerns we have removed the campaign from our Peterborough store and the campaign is being ended this weekend.

“I would like to state my apology for any distress caused.”

• Originally opened as a sex shop chain, Ann Summers was added to the portfolio of Ralph and David Gold in the early 70s and turned into a lingerie bountique.

• It currently has more than 150 stores in the UK and an turnover of more than £150 million.

• Its chief executive is David Gold’s daughter Jacqueline, who is credited for creating the Ann Summers’ Parties which bring products to people’s homes.