Anxiety UK has added its voice to the criticism of high street retailers Asda and Tesco over the sale of Halloween fancy dress party costumes it described as “stupid, crass and offensive.”
Asda has since withdrawn the product and issued an apology for the upset caused.
But Anxiety UK, the country’s leading anxiety disorders charity, feels the damage done cannot be repaired as simply as the retailer would hope.
Nicky Lidbetter, CEO of Anxiety UK, said: “This has got to rank up there with the worse PR nightmares ever for a two leading brand names. These products were simply stupid, crass and offensive.
“How on earth anyone signed off on these products as being suitable for sale is beyond me.
“This has undone several years of hard work by mental health professionals, charities and individuals and to reduce the stigma attached to mental ill health. This is exactly why the Time to Change campaign was launched to address these kind of ignorant stereotypes but clearly there is still much work to do.
“Withdrawing the products, issuing an apology and making a donation to MIND should only be the start of putting right these mistakes.
“Tesco and Asda’s senior management team should also be considering the damage done to the morale of its own staff and undertake to commit to a series of mental health awareness seminars and training for all of its senior management team.
“We’d be happy to help deliver it for them.”