Mental health campaigners are calling on Poundland to pull one of their products because it’s offensive and contains ‘distressing imagery’.
The store has released their own version of M&M’s called ‘Nutters’, with three characters with skewed eyes featured on the packaging.
It’s understandable why some people would find this offensive.
— Sarah-Jane Mee (@skysarahjane) September 13, 2017
Although the product has been available for a year it’s only just hit headlines as the campaign to take it off the shelves has stepped up.
British MP Norman Lamb for North Norfolk, whose son Archie suffers from mental health issues, is backing the campaign.
Mr Lamb told The Sun:
There is a stigma attached to mental health and we need to be careful about the way we talk about it.
The product needs to be quickly withdrawn from sale and Poundland needs to apologise.
Mr Lamb also spoke to the BBC saying:
If you just say nothing and just allow these products to be normal practice, it perpetuates a negative view of mental health – that there’s something weird and odd about you.
Just think about being a teenager and thinking ‘do I want to be defined as a nutter?
We need to be doing much more to recognise that it’s nothing to be ashamed of and embarrassed about and encourage young people to get help.
However, not everyone agreed with his comments:
— ☔️ (@_brwn__) September 13, 2017
Other mental health campaigners have called it ‘a real step backwards for progress’ and say it creates the impression mental health issues are ‘not a serious thing’.
While many are left outraged, others have been taking to social media to criticise the campaign calling it an ‘overreaction’:
The offended-on-your-behalf PC brigade angry at Poundland over its' Nutters sweets. Having had 2 nervous breakdowns, I just find it amusing
— DJS says adiEU (@woodborobarmpot) September 13, 2017
I really hope @Poundland sticks to its guns over Nutters! Political correctness can be far more divisive than harmless fun.
— Matgo Styles (@MatgoStyles) September 13, 2017
Poundland do not remove the sweets called nutters. I have had a few mental health issues in the past. It's not offensive. Can't people smile
— The Lord Glencoe (@jmac69) September 13, 2017
Poundland has announced it will listen to feedback and assess the situation.
In a statement the company said:
These chocolate-covered nuts have been a customer favourite over the last 12 months and that popularity suggests it hasn’t caused offence to them.
They will ‘assess this line’ at their next formal review.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.