Belfast Telegraph

Belfast retailer defiant over naked woman in high heels image

David James Kerr in his menswear shop on the Newtownards Road
David James Kerr in his menswear shop on the Newtownards Road
Victoria Leonard

By Victoria Leonard

A Belfast shop which sells clothes for boys and men has come under fire after sexualised marketing material appeared on a phone box.

The stickers for the David James Kerr store on the Newtownards Road feature a waist-down drawing of a naked woman in high heels.

Her underwear is around her ankles and she is standing behind a naked man with his trousers lowered.

A picture of the sticker, discovered on the side of a Tates Avenue phone box, sparked uproar after it was posted online.

When one concerned local asked the shop via social media if they believed it was appropriate for a shop which caters to kids, they replied: "Yes, it's our most popular sticker, thank you."

And when the same customer gave the shop a one star Facebook rating due to the image, the store invited him to "call in and see the life size version rather than the sticker".

An accompanying photograph posted by the business shows a large version of the image on the shop's toilet door.

The clothing company caters for young boys aged 10 and over, as well as men.

One parent of a 13-year-old boy who frequents the shop described the image as "appalling".

She stated: "I looked up their website and it's totally aimed at young boys.

"I think it's appalling that they are using these images which they know young impressionable kids will see.

"It's just perpetuating misogyny through the generations."

Another woman described the image as "gross and attention-seeking at its worst".

She added: "The use of sexualised imagery to advertise to children is disgusting."

A separate sign on the toilet door depicting a man looking over a cubicle at a woman also attracted criticism, with one social media user claiming it is "actually inciting people to break the law".

The owner of the store, David James Kerr, said those complaining about the image were "making a big deal out of nothing".

"That image has been on our toilet door for the last three years," he stated.

"It's not a picture of a real man or woman, there is no genitalia involved.

"Kids and parents are in and out of the shop every day and we had never had a complaint before now.

"The image door is in the adult section, at the other end of the shop from the junior section, although kids would have to go through it to use the toilets.

"In this day and age people can go online and find a naked picture of Kim Kardashian.

"The stickers are from a selection which are given out free to customers on the counter - kids can pick them up, I'm not going to try and control who can lift them.

"That sticker was not put on the phone box by my business."

Mr Kerr also denied that the sign showing a man looking over a toilet door at a woman was an "incitement to break the law".

"It's a bit of a joke, to be honest," he continued. "It's as if there's a lot of keyboard warriors running down a local business which employs local people.

"I'm not considering removing the image, and I will keep giving out the free stickers."

A spokesperson for Belfast City Council said it "has no power to deal with the offensive nature of any advertisement".

He added: "Council have powers to deal with fly-posting and can either remove it or ask the person responsible for the advertisement to remove it.

"The council will investigate the report and take enforcement action if appropriate."

Belfast Telegraph


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