Ryman, the leading stationery chain, has withdrawn all Playboy merchandise after complaints that it was being promoted to children.
Revd. Tim Jones, a father of two, spotted pencil cases and notebooks carrying Playboy’s ‘bunny’ logo stocked alongside Winnie-the-Pooh and Mickey Mouse merchandise.
Following his complaint, Ryman confirmed that it would be removing the products.
Revd. Jones said: “It constitutes a kind of institutional grooming of children for their later commercial exploitation by the pornography industry.”
Playboy have argued that their products are targeted at the “18 to 35” age group. However, the Scottish Equal Opportunities Committee has announced an investigation into the brand.
Convener Margaret Mitchell MSP said: “The committee is extremely concerned to read reports about the ever-increasing range of goods in stores which contain sexual images and which appear to be directly aimed at children.
“Members have therefore agreed to hold a roundtable discussion on the issue in an effort to raise awareness about the matter, to assess the impact it has on children together with any potential harm.
“As part of the discussion the roundtable participants will be asked to give their suggestions as to what could be done to ensure that sexually inappropriate goods are not targeted at children.”
Equal Opportunities Committee Deputy Convener Elaine Smith MSP said: “This is an area of real anxiety to many parents across Scotland and it is vital that the committee looks at such an important issue.
“We hope to take evidence from a range of expert witnesses to explore the increase in the prevalence of such goods.”