Sunday, May 17, 2009

Manics and Tesco: There will be blood

Yesterday, you know, I might have been a bit hard on dear old Tesco. Perhaps it isn't fair to compare their attitude to the new Manics album cover on the shelves with their website's gorily-written game puffs.

So, to be fair, I popped in to Tescos. Yes, we have a Tesco store near us - unusual in the UK, I know.

You'll recall that this is the image which Tesco have refused to display on their shelves:

And the reason, given by their spokesperson, is that it is "inappropriate" and "we are a family retailer and we feel that it is the right thing to do."

It's touching to know that Tesco operate a family-friendly only shelving policy for their stores, isn't it? This, you have to conclude, is appropriate for your kids:

A child with a birthmark? Horrifying. But a dismembered head and manacles dripping blood? What could be a nicer post-kindergarten treat?

Why, children would be upset by the Manics album - sure, it's a birthmark, but it looks like blood. That's really unhealthy for the nippers.

Now, an actual head, with what's clearly blood, that's fine. It's not so confusing, is it? You know where you are with proper bloody heads.

Why would you bother hiring clowns or balloon animal makers for your next child's birthday party, when Tesco is offering all this family-friendly material?

After all, it's never too early to learn the correct order of doing things - certainly, by the age of six, my Dad made sure I was knew why you had to bind before you tortured, and only then killed.

Now, I know what you're saying: Some of these grisly DVDs are on shelves as high as three feet off floor level, and surely Tesco must take care to see that the place where the smallest children are are a bit less gory, right? And indeed they do:

Down on the bottom shelf level, it's just scary faces, half-naked porn stars and blow job gags. Tesco is always aware of avoiding inappropriate items for its family customers.

And, yes, I'm still being unfair. This is, after all, the horror section of the entertainment part of the store, and Tesco make every effort to keep children out of wandering into the blood-and-blowjob part of the shop by, erm, having a small sign saying "Horror" right above the DVD rack.

It's different elsewhere in the shop, right?

Ah, yes. Nestling next to kid-tastic animated Bee Movie fun, a bloody sickle - and at pocket money prices, too.

Still, be reassured, parents: At least your kids won't have nightmares about a child with a birthmark. Even if they had seen the Manics sleeve, by the time they'd walked through the gore-and-torture strewn shelves of their local Tesco store, they won't be able to sleep in the first place.

Photos taken in Tesco Extra, Kingston, Milton Keynes, afternoon of Saturday 16th May


Olive said...

The image of the Manics album comes from Amazon, Simon. Did your local store not stock it, or was it in its label-supplied don't-scare-the-kiddywinks sleeve?
I meant to have a look when I was in our local Tesco, but was distracted by a 2 for £2.50 offer on Papaya.

David said...

I'm surprised a journalist of Gordon Smarts' quality and integrity hasn't picked up on this story yet.

Olive said...

@David- Good point. It's a loss to the world of musical critique that Smart wasn't working at the Sun when the Holy Bible was released with a fat bird on the cover. He'd tell us what to think.

(Oh, ignore the question Simon- just realised the album isn't on the shelves 'til tomorrow)

The Riverboat Captain said...

Could be worse, at least you avoided the dire warning we got on our copies -

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