Missguided has been forced to remove a controversial sign from one of its stores after it was branded “appalling” and “disgusting” by people online.
The sign in question said “send me nudes” and was hanging in the clothes brand’s Bluewater store.
Youth worker Rachel Gardner tweeted about the sign after her friend, Rebecca Rumsey, sent her a photo of it while out shopping with her daughter.
Gardner told the company to remove the sign, adding: “What hope is there for girls when the stores they shop in give them this message? It’s time to respect girls.”
Gardner’s tweet was soon liked almost 300 times and she launched an online petition calling on Missguided to remove the sign.
“Teenage girls feel under increasing pressure to create and send nude pictures of themselves. NSPCC report says teenage girls are most adversely affected by the sexting culture,” the petition said.
“Once online, these nude images can be seen and used by anyone, making girls and vulnerable young women the victims of bullying, revenge porn and exploitation. Many of these nude images can even make their way to child abuse websites.”
The petition pointed out that it is illegal in the UK for “nude images of under 18s to be created, sent and shared”.
″‘Send me Nudes’ legitimises the culture of sexual coercion that teenage girls and young women experience daily,” it said.
“In posting ‘Send me nudes’ in their store, Missguided are promoting a negative and damaging culture. Instead, they should be empowering young women to value their intrinsic value and express their uniqueness through the art of fashion.
“So we are calling on Missguided to respect girls and take down their sign.”
The petition soon received more than 8,000 signatures with many people on Twitter also criticising the sign.
In response to the petition, Missguided decided to cover the sign and reportedly told Gardner it would be removed. Rumsey later posed a photo of the covered sign on Twitter.
A spokesperson from Bluewater later responded to an enquiry about the sign on Twitter, saying it has now been removed.
HuffPost UK has contacted Missguided for further comment and is awaiting response.