Gorleston mother’s outrage at boy band JLS condoms

A MUM has spoken of her outrage after her nine-year-old daughter grabbed a packet of condoms in a Gorleston store because they were endorsed by boy band, JLS.

Sarah Crow described how her daughter's love of JLS singer Aston Merrygold led her to pick up the contraceptives, which are branded with pictures of the group who found fame on the X Factor.

The 43-year-old was angered by the advertising campaign, which she claims could introduce sex to small children because of the group's young fan base.

Mrs Crow, who works in customer services, welcomes the positive message of safe sex, but questions the decision to use a group which appeals to youngsters between five and 12.

'We had just gone into Superdrug on Gorleston High Street to buy some shampoo,' she said.

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'We were walking up the first aisle when my daughter just took them from the shelf because she saw them branded with pictures of JLS.

'She turned around and said 'what are these?'

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'And I had to explain they were for stopping women from getting pregnant. I know children learn young, but she is only nine years old. I wasn't ready to explain sex to her yet.

'My little one absolutely loves JLS and Aston is her favourite.

'I'm not saying you should hide them away, but this group has fans who are five to 12 years old.

'I think they should take JLS off the packaging and I would like to see them higher on the shop shelf so children can't pick them up so easily.'

JLS teamed up with condom manufacturers Durex to release the 'Just Love Safe' condoms in support of the JLS Charitable Foundation, which aims to promote sexual health in Britain. Each packet features a member of JLS with their own individual colour.

A spokesperson for Momentum PR, which deals with regional press inquiries for JLS, said they didn't see how Mrs Crow's concerns warranted a story.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Superdrug wanted to make it clear that JLS contraception is kept in the designated sexual health section of the store.

She said: 'At Superdrug we have a history in sexual health campaigning, and were responsible for government lobbying which saw condoms reclassified as an essential healthcare item for VAT purposes in 2006.

'The level of teenage pregnancies and STIs remains high in the UK and it is important that as a responsible retailer we do as much as we can to help decrease this.

'Supporting the JLS Foundation, a charity which aims to raise awareness of safe sex, is just one of the ways we continue to support sexual health campaigns.'

Meanwhile, Mrs Crow said she felt patronised by staff at the Superdrug store in Gorleston when she outlined her concerns about the condoms.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Email Ben Woods at ben.woods@archant.co.uk or call 01493 847961.

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