Cosmetics chain Lush is under fire for bizarre advertising campaign

Cosmetics giant Lush has sparked outrage with a bizarre campaign accusing police officers of being 'paid to lie' and 'spying' on innocent victims.

Critics have now called for a boycott of the chain which claimed it wanted to highlight the 'intrusive, abusive, political policing in the UK'.

It said it hoped to bring attention to the issue of women being tricked into sexual relationships by undercover officers.

But it appears to have backfired, triggering a huge backlash on social media, and was accused of being 'anti police.' 

Material in the campaign features mocked-up police tape on shop fronts, with slogans that read: 'Police spies out of lives' and 'Spied on for taking a stand'

Material in the campaign features mocked-up police tape on shop fronts, with slogans that read: 'Police spies out of lives' and 'Spied on for taking a stand'

Critics have now called for a boycott of the chain which claimed it wanted to highlight the 'intrusive, abusive, political policing in the UK'

Critics have now called for a boycott of the chain which claimed it wanted to highlight the 'intrusive, abusive, political policing in the UK'

Bosses at the Advertising Standards Authority have today announced they are launching a probe into the campaign which has been branded 'anti-police' by customers and some former officers.

The chain, based in Poole, Devon, famous for selling bath soaps and fragrances, is promoting the campaign across Britain, and on its website and social media feeds. It is set to last until June 18.

Lush, which has a policy of not spending any money on advertising and claims to not to have a specific marketing team, has mocked up police tape on shop fronts, with slogans that read: 'Police spies out of lives' and 'Spied on for taking a stand'.

Director General of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens said: 'Undercover policing is a highly specialised & regulated tactic undertaken by brave officers to protect the public from the most serious offenders. 

The campaign is being promoted on the Lush website

The campaign is being promoted on the Lush website

The PR campaign appears to have backfired and triggered a huge backlash on social media, and was accused of being 'anti police'

The PR campaign appears to have backfired and triggered a huge backlash on social media, and was accused of being 'anti police'

'I'd encourage @LushLtd to visit @NCA_UK to receive a contemporary briefing.'

Che Donald, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, tweeted: 'This is very poorly thought out campaign @LushLtd & damaging to the overwhelmingly large majority of police who have nothing to do with this undercover enquiry.

'I will now clear my house of any of your products and my family and friends will never use them again.'

Former police officer Peter Kirkham said: 'Your anti police advertising campaign is an utter disgrace.

'It stereotypes ALL police officers as corrupt & includes some fundamental misrepresentations of the facts.

'I trust that you will never again seek police assistance if you are the victims of crime.'

A public inquiry into claims of wrongdoing by undercover officers who infiltrated activist groups in England and Wales was set up in 2015.

Lush has said its campaign was designed to urge home secretary Sajid Javid to listen to campaigners who have accused the inquiry of protecting officers. 

The campaign is highlighting the activities of secretive Special Demonstration Squad of the Met Police, which infiltrated protest groups from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Bosses at the Advertising Standards Authority have today announced they are launching a probe into the campaign which has been branded 'anti-police' by customers and some former officers

Bosses at the Advertising Standards Authority have today announced they are launching a probe into the campaign which has been branded 'anti-police' by customers and some former officers

The chain, famous for selling bath soaps and fragrances, is promoting the campaign across Britain, and on its website and social media feeds

The chain, famous for selling bath soaps and fragrances, is promoting the campaign across Britain, and on its website and social media feeds

Lush has teamed up with activist groups Police Spies Out Of Lives and Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance.

They have launched a petition to get Mr Javid to make some changes to the inquiry  are working together to take a stand. 

PSOOL and COPS have already launched a petition asking the UK's new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to make some major changes to the current public inquiry.

They want the inquiry to extend to Scotland and for it to disclose the cover names of officers and the names of groups they spied on.  Lush is urging its customers to sign the petition.

But Twitter user Cath Williams wrote: 'Quite frankly I'm appalled at this. I'm definitely going to be giving Lush a very wide berth from now.'

Ann Barnes added: 'Thanks Lush now I have to explain to my friend who isn't on social media why she won't be getting her usual Lush birthday presents next month. 

Former police officer and Crimewatch presenter Rav Wilding backed the boycott calls.

He wrote: 'Your page claims you 'make mums proud' yet you have a current campaign like this?

'That simply means I won't step foot in your shops in future. Police work their backsides off for us all. I know that and thank them all.'   

The twitter hashtag #FlushLush is also being spread on social media calling for a boycott.

Defending the campaign, Lush said on Twitter: 'These posters are part of the campaign we're supporting which looks at the ongoing

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