Christians in Lancashire have written to Boots to object to its sale and promotion of a highly-explicit sex toy Advent calendar.
The Lovehoney Advent calendar includes sex toys or other sex aids behind each of the 25 days and the Boots website also includes detailed instructions for how each item should be used.
It is described as being suitable for “Anyone looking to spice up the festive season (and beyond) with their partner”, but there are no restrictions on who can purchase it, or on who can view the explicit instructions on the Boots website.
‘Sadness and distress’
On behalf of local churches and Christians, Revd Tom McGibbon, Minister of Cleveley’s Baptist Church near Blackpool, contacted Boots to complain.
He wrote: “Advent is a very special time of the year for all Christians as we prepare to celebrate again the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas. To see Advent being used in such a way causes us much sadness and distress, we feel that it is an abuse of the Christian Advent season.
“Apart from this your website is open to all ages of people and there is a very real danger that children and young people will be caused harm if they were to view this content. We request that this Advent calendar be removed from your website and from sale altogether.”
No age restrictions
In response, Boots noted it stocked a range of traditional and non-traditional calendars, and that the Lovehoney calendar had proven popular last year, which is why the retailer had decided to continue its partnership with the brand.
It claimed promotional materials can only be sent out to customers over the age of 16, but the instructions for use are clearly available on the Boots website alongside the product description without any age restrictions.
Boots also stocks a similar product from Ann Summers, which also includes a number of sex toys, although there are no instructions for use on the website.