Asda apologises after 'mental patient' Halloween costume provokes uproar

Asda: Halloween costume attracts criticism
Asda: Halloween costume attracts criticism

Asda has been forced to withdraw a "Mental Patient Fancy Dress Costume" from its website, after facing criticism on social media sites.

The supermarket listed the product, including a "torn blood stained shirt", fake blood and a fake meat cleaver, on its Asda Direct site for £20.

Asda advertised the Halloween costume with the line: "Everyone will be running away from you in fear in this mental patient fancy dress costume."

Mental health campaigners, including Charity Rethink Mental Illness, were quick to challenge the retailer, demanding on Twitter that Asda "please explain" why it was listing the product.

The costume was quickly withdrawn from sale, and Asda promised it would make a "sizeable" donation to mental health charity Mind to apologise.

It said in a statement on Twitter: "We removed the product from our website this afternoon but unfortunately the page may remain visible for a few more hours.

"We’d like to offer out sincere apologies for the offence it’s caused and [we] will be making a sizeable donation to @MindCharity

"We're deeply sorry one of our fancy dress costumes has upset people. This was an unacceptable error – the product was withdrawn immediately."

Following the controversy, Tesco has also agreed with withdraw a "Psycho Ward" Halloween costume from its website.

The bright orange boiler suit has the word "committed" written on the back. Tesco apologised for "any offence caused". 

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Microsoft profits boosted by cloud computing drive
Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers