UK retail: Are you a hotty?

Browsing Oxford Street this week for some pre-Christmas shopping, I ducked into smart-casual fashion outlet River Island. Just to look, of course. In the downstairs men’s section I was struck by something. And it wasn’t the reasonably-priced, yawningly-conventional clothing. It was a pint glass. Or what looked like a pint glass, just bigger. Inspecting the display I saw it was a giant two-and-a-half pints glass, dubbed, appropriately, “The Big One: Are you man enough?” Surprised, I turned to the next item on display. A hand clicker. The sort wielded by bouncers and air-hostesses to take head counts, and recently glamorised in adverts for male body sprays. Or in the words of the packet: “Totty Clicker: Tally the totty to find out if you’re a hotty.” I turned then to the third item on display, a car sign aimed at “The Demon Driver”, complete with cartoon of an adrenaline-high bloke burning rubber.

Ok, I know it’s nearly Christmas and people are at a loss for stocking-fillers. And I realise men do like booze, birds and fast cars. But would a progressive company promote its brand in this way? I’m not so sure.

John Russell, deputy editori{content: normal !important}

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