Specialist greeting card and stationery retailer, Paperchase, has come under fire for a joke Christmas card which was deemed offensive by some people who saw it. The card features a mother rabbit demanding a ‘f****ing refund’ from an orphanage after one of her children spilled milk. The risky card was accused of mocking children in care.
2012 Olypmics poet, Lemn Sissay, who grew up in a care home and has previously written about his experiences, was amongst the complainants, writing on his blog that the card was ‘for others to pour scorn’ on children in orphanages. Paperchase immediately removed the card from shelves at its 130 outlets when it realised some people were upset by the content
The controversy highlights the tension between designing a card which is truly ‘edgy’ and one which is simply offensive, with Christmas cards particularly at risk of crossing this line.
A spokesman for Paperchase apologised for causing offence, saying: ‘We were first made aware of a customer concern about this card Wednesday morning and immediately removed it from sale on our website and all stores. We try and provide a wide range of cards, catering to all types of customers with varying senses of humour. Whilst it is never our intention to be insensitive or cause any offence, we appreciate that on this occasion the image and copy has done so, for which we apologise unreservedly. We don’t always get it right and on the rare occasions that we don’t, we appreciate our customers calling it out so that we can respond and react accordingly.