Cosmetics retailer Lush UK has managed to alienate and infuriate virtually every police officer and organisation in the country with a bizarre new ad campaign which accuses coppers of being “paid to lie”.
The campaign, which launched last week in partnership with two activist groups, is designed to raise awareness of undercover police spying.
The company insists it is designed to expose “intrusive, abusive, political” policing – including officers who have allegedly been secretly investigating activists in the UK.
Shops have been adorned with fake police tape along with slogans such as “police have crossed the line” and “police spies out of lives”. Lush is urging customers to sign an online petition, wear a badge and pass on the message about so-called ‘spycops’.
But police officers and governing bodies are spitting feathers.
Che Donald, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said he would never use Lush products again.
He tweeted: “This is very poorly thought out campaign @LushLtd & damaging to the overwhelmingly large majority of police who have nothing to do with this undercover enquiry.
“I will now clear my house of any of your products and my family and friends will never use them again.”
The chair of the Police Federation Calum Macleod added: “The Lush advertising campaign is offensive, disgusting and an insult to the hard work, professionalism and dedication of police officers throughout the UK.
“I cannot believe that someone, somewhere, actually thought this campaign was a good idea. All it serves to do is to criticise police officers and encourage an anti-police sentiment. Police officers already face enough abuse from those who break the law and are a menace to society, without the need for a cosmetic company to start putting the boot in too.”
And the Director General of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens said: “Undercover policing is a highly specialised and regulated tactic undertaken by brave officers to protect the public from the most serious offenders.”
Defending the activity, Lush said on Twitter: “These posters are part of the campaign we’re supporting which looks at the ongoing undercover policing scandal, in which some police officers are infiltrating the homes and lives of non-criminals, and the aftermath of these actions!
“We understand that there are many people, including police personnel, who support what these campaigns stand for, we just want to help spread the message.”
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