A birthday card aimed at 13 year old girls and which suggests they can get a rich boyfriend in a year’s time “when you’ve bigger boobies” has been roundly condemned for sexualising children.
Bradford-based Hallmark has said they will now track down every copy of the card in the UK and remove it from sale.
The card has been attacked as hugely unsuitable in the current climate of celebrities investigated for the abuse of children, sparked by the scandal centred on Jimmy Savile. A picture of the card was posted on the social networking site Twitter and quickly went viral, with users bombarding Hallmark’s PR feeds in both the UK and the States.
The card is sold under the Arnold Barton brand, which has a trading address of Dawson Lane, Dudley Hill, Bradford, and a registered address at Hallmark House, Bingley Road - home of the Hallmark greetings card giant. Hallmark said the card was produced before they took over the brand and is not currently in production.
The pink card, with a cartoon picture of a teenage girl holding a huge diamond ring, says: “You’re 13 today! If you had a rich boyfriend he’d give you diamonds and rubies. Well, maybe next year you will - when you’ve bigger boobies.”
Caitlin Moran, award-winning journalist and author of the recent bestseller How To Be A Woman, tweeted: “Sometimes I want to hide my daughters down a well”.
She later told the T&A : “This is a greetings card that greets a child with body dysmorphia, a future dependent on getting a boyfriend, and terrible design.”
The card was spotted by Twitter user @CheesyHel in Hertfordshire, who posted a picture of it and wrote: “it was in one of the local newsagents in my town. I had to read it twice, couldn't believe my eyes! #vile”
Writer, broadcaster and Guardian newspaper columnist Sali Hughes angrily said on Twitter: “Now Savile is dead, is there any ***** on earth who would buy this card for a thirteen year old girl? Sick.”
Actress, comedian and writer Emma Kennedy was almost speechless. She told the T&A: “I don't know where to begin with the criticism. Every atom of it is wrong.”
Broadcaster Jeremy Vine tweeted: “got to be the worst-taste greeting card you've ever laid eyes on”
David Dean, Managing Director of Hambledon Studios, part of Hallmark, said, “This card was produced by Creative Publishing prior Hallmark Cards acquiring the company in 1998. We are as surprised and horrified as anyone else to have discovered that there are still copies in circulation. The card has not been produced for over 15 years and would never pass our own strict guidelines of taste and appropriateness. We would like to assure all our customers that we will do everything in our power to track down remaining copies.”