Lush Has Dropped Its Controversial #SpyCops Ad Campaign

Update (8th June): Lush has pulled its controversial ad campaign raising awareness of the so-called UK "spy cops" scandal, which critics argued had an "anti-police" message, the BBC reported. The company said it was dropping the initiative, which had provoked a nationwide outcry, "for the safety of [its] staff".
Update (3rd June): Lush has removed the controversial #SpyCops campaign from some of its stores after staff were allegedly intimidated by ex-police officers.
The campaign has provoked intense debate on social media since it was launched last week, with some shoppers arguing that it promotes a damaging "anti-police" message.
As part of the campaign, Lush store windows have been decorated with police-style barricade tape containing the slogan "POLICE HAVE CROSSED THE LINE".
Other messages in store windows say "POLICE SPIES OUT OF LOVES" and "#SPYCOPS INQUIRY: TRUTH OR COVER UP?"
The campaign is designed to support the ongoing investigation into undercover policing, which was launched following revelations that over a 40-year period (1968-2008), some officers deliberately targeted certain activist groups.
While undercover, it is believed that some male officers formed romantic relationships with female activists who had no idea they were dating an undercover officer. Other officers are accused of stealing dead children’s names in order to create fake identities.
Lush said in a statement on Saturday: "Whilst intimidation of our shop staff from ex-police officers and unhelpful tweets from those in high office are ongoing, not all of our shops feel able today to have the campaign window in their shops. However the campaign is still running for three weeks and we will be constantly weighing up what to do about the situation."
Cambridgeshire police officer Liz Groom tweeted that her colleagues had enjoyed a more polite and productive exchange with Lush staff members at the Peterborough store.
Lush has not said how many of its UK stores are still running the #SpyCops campaign.
This piece was originally published on June 1, 2018.
It may have just been voted the UK's favourite high-street store, but Lush is in hot water with consumers over its latest campaign, which is a major departure from the British cosmetics company's usual marketing.
Its #SpyCops campaign, a collaboration with Police Spies Out of Lives which launched today, aims "to raise awareness of the ongoing undercover policing scandal" in which "officers have infiltrated the lives, homes and beds of activists."
The campaign includes window dressing in its UK stores that reads "police have crossed the line" and "#SpyCops inquiry: truth or cover up?" in reference to the ongoing investigation into undercover policing. The brand is also urging customers to sign a postcard addressed to the government on the issue.
Lush's intentions are noble, but many people on social media, including police forces, have accused the brand of attacking the force, with many branding it "misleading", "irresponsible" and announcing they are boycotting the store.
Others, meanwhile, pointed out that it was an unusual issue for the company to be wading into, with some urging it to "get back in [its] box". Up to now, the brand has been most predominantly known for its strong environmental credentials and avid stance against animal testing.
However, some people are praising Lush for taking a stance on an important issue, and others saying the campaign was well intentioned but poorly executed.
In response to a query about the campaign on Twitter, the brand said it was not an "anti-police campaign". The brand added: "It's to highlight the abuse that people face when their lives have been infiltrated by undercover police."
Lush released a statement on Friday afternoon clarifying that #SpyCops "is not an anti-state/anti-police campaign". The company clarified: "This campaign is not about the real police work done by those front line officers who support the public every day - it is about a controversial branch of political undercover policing that ran for many years before being exposed."

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