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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 12:23 GMT
Woolworths withdraws 'Lolita' bed
Dominique Swain played the young girl in the film, Lolita
A film adaptation of the novel also met with controversy
Bedroom furniture for young girls with the brand name Lolita has been withdrawn by Woolworths following complaints from parents.

A parenting website said it was in "unbelievably bad taste" to give the bed the same name as a novel about a sexually precocious young girl.

Woolworths said the 395 Lolita Midsleeper Combi was withdrawn when the matter was brought to its attention.

Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel became famous for its controversial subject.

The story of a stepfather's sexual obsession with a 12-year-old girl has been adapted for film twice: first by Stanley Kubrick in 1962 and later in 1997 when Jeremy Irons played the lead part of Humbert Humbert.

It has become a name that is synonymous with sexual precocity and the fact that it is tied to a girl's bed - it literally couldn't be worse taste
Catherine Hanly, parenting website editor

Catherine Hanly, editor of parenting website raisingkids.co.uk, was among the parents to complain about the furniture advertised on the Woolworths website.

She said a Woolworths press officer had told her staff running the website "had no idea" of the word's connotations.

"I expect a company like Woolworths to actually know what it means and the connotations and stuff," she told BBC Radio Five Live Breakfast.

"It has become a name that is synonymous with sexual precocity and the fact that it is tied to a girl's bed - it literally couldn't be worse taste."

A Woolworths spokeswoman said: "Now this has been brought to our attention, the product has been removed from sale with immediate effect."

She said the suppliers, who advertise the product on the Woolworths' website, would be asked how the branding came about.

Playboy bunny

It is not the first time retailers have been criticised for using branding with sexual connotations on goods marketed for children.

In 2005, WH Smiths came under fire for selling youngsters stationery bearing the Playboy bunny - a symbol of the pornography empire.

Prior to that Bhs decided to withdraw its Little Miss Naughty range of padded bras and knickers for pre-teen girls after attracting criticism.

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Catherine Hanley complained to Woolworths



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