Monday, December 05, 2005

Chain pulls the wool over our eyes

Retail chain Woolworths is acting as a censor. Following ‘a number of complaints’ (remember these things are usually orchestrated) the store has pulled Jerry Springer: The Opera from its shelves.

Customers who have complained about the decision of Woolworths to act as a censor (this in not pornography, it was broadcast on the BBC following a successful West End run) are receiving a form letter in response:

Dear …

Thank you for your e-mail.

Woolworths is not a censor and does not wish to act as one. Like any other retailer, it is guided by government legislation with regard to film certification.

However, we also listen to our customers and their feedback. On this occasion we have received numerous complaints and it is clear to us that our customers would prefer us not to stock this product.

As a result it has been removed from sale.

Danny Myers Customer Support Advisor

Funny how it seems they only listen to one set of customers and their “complaints”.

DVDs are sold in shrinkwrap. It is not possible to be offended by a DVD simply because it exists. Well, I suppose it is ‘possible’ if you’re a loony Christian fundamentalist, but customer support advisors should enlighten you to the fact that if you don’t feel you’ll enjoy the movie, keep your 20 quid in your pocket.

Somehow I suspect that Woolworths will be more outraged at the suggestion that they sell DVDs for the full ₤19.99 RRP instead of at their low, low price than they will being described as “censors”.

We’ve reported at the dirty tactics of Stephen Green and his nutty so-called “Christian Voice” before. They published the names and home addresses of producers and broadcasters connected with the show and threatened theatre managers with disruptions if they allowed the show to go on. Now they appear to have some magic power over retailers.

In America, it is not uncommon for big chains like Walmart to insist that CDs and DVDs have alternative artwork or edits for the versions sold in their stores. Since these big retail outlets have such huge buying power and distribution, the artists have to cave in. Do we want the same style of bullying taking hold in the UK?

According to a report in the Independent, Sainsbury’s is caving to similar pressure. Who next? Tescos, WHSmith, HMV?

This is a point of principle. Let Woolworths and Sainsbury’s know that we’re watching. Let’s see if they respond to our complaints!

And, in a mind-numbing move, another retail chain - ASDA - has invited god-botherers of many varieties into their stores to pester customers. The Yorkshire Post reports that "The Leeds-based chain Asda has recruited 160 multi-denominational clerics who now pay regular visits to their stores across the country to chat to both staff and customers."

It really is a supermarket of religion now - get the heathen DVDs out, get the evangelists in. Oh what next? Holy water in the Coke isle? 'Blood of Christ' merlot on sale (but only until 11pm)? Communion waffers in the bakery - buy one, get salvation free?

Write to ASDA and tell them what you think of their mini-mall misionaries and their deli disciples.


At 12:22 PM, Anonymous chupme lapolla said...

The Asda query page throws up an error reading when you try to send a "suggestion" in. Can this mean that they are being bombarded by emails of a certain kind????
Or are they merely just a bunch of brain dead twots?

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These complainers are really weird - if something offends me, I just don't buy it or don't watch it! Simple as that. But taking DVDs out of the stock is the start of censorship - where does it end? Just look back into history and you'll see burning books...witch hunts...etc...

At 1:00 PM, Anonymous chris grace said...

If you ask me, Brett Lock needs lokcing up!

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brett you're a wally!

At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the spirit of fairness:-

Stephen Green, M.A
Wernlwyd, Pen-y-bont, Carmarthen, SA33 6QN.
01994 484544 / 07931 490050
National Director, Christian Voice



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