Footwear firm Clarks has sparked a sexism row after naming a girls’ shoe range Dolly Babe and a boys’ line Leader.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those to criticise the well-known company, which has apologised for any offence caused.
It is almost beyond belief that in 2017 a major company could think this is in any way acceptable. Shows what we are still up against. https://t.co/3C7Nop8o1E— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) August 13, 2017
The Dolly Babe range, featuring a heart print detail, has been withdrawn from the website and the firm said it is removing the name from in-store products.
The Leader footwear, which carries a football image, remains on sale online in the boys’ school shoes section.
Writer Laura Waddell tweeted: “Clarks have named range of girls’ school shoes ‘Dolly Babe’ while the boys’ equivalent is called ‘Leader’. Out of touch, sexist & insulting.”
Returned my daughters yesterday after noticing the name on the box. Expect better @clarksshoes— Nick Cunningham (@R1verRat) August 13, 2017
But replying to Ms Sturgeon, a Twitter user by the name of Tod said: “My daughter went though all phases from dolly babe to goth. It’s called choice & made no difference to her self esteem/worth.”
Clarks released a statement saying the Dolly Babe range is “an old and discontinued line, with only remaining stock being sold through our stores”.
It said it had removed the shoe from sale online “following customer feedback regarding the name” and added it is currently working to remove the name from remaining in-store stock.
It added: “We are working hard to ensure our ranges reflect our gender neutral ethos and we apologise for any unintended offence caused.”