Page last updated at 19:39 GMT, Monday, 14 December 2009

Tesco apologises over 'ginger jibe' Christmas card

Davinia Phillips and her daughters
Ms Phillips with daughters [l-r] Georgia, Kiera and Kelsey

A Christmas card has been withdrawn from two Tesco stores in York after complaints that it makes fun of children with ginger hair.

The card shows a child with ginger hair sitting on the lap of Santa Claus, and the words: "Santa loves all kids. Even ginger ones."

Davinia Phillips, 30, of York, whose three daughters are redheads, said she found the card offensive.

Tesco said it was sorry if the card had "caused any upset".

Ms Phillips, of Dringhouses, York, spotted the card while visiting her Tesco store in the city's Tadcaster Road.

She said: "I picked it up and I couldn't believe it.

"I just thought 'What is so funny about that?' I didn't really get the joke.

"I thought I would buy it, because I wanted proof that I had seen it."

Ms Phillips, herself a natural redhead, added: "The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I got and I told the lady who worked in the store I was not happy."

'Absolutely disgusted'

When Ms Phillips returned to the shop later that evening she said the card had been removed.

She added that the card had also been withdrawn from the Tesco branch at Clifton Moor, York, after her sister-in-law complained.

"I thought maybe it was just me because I am a mother of kids with red hair, but a lot of my friends and other people I know, we are absolutely disgusted," Ms Phillips said.

It is never our intention to offend any customer and we are sorry if this card caused any upset
Tesco spokesman

"Society comes down hard on how people look and there are so many children these days who are bullied because of how they look.

"If the card had been about an overweight child then the shop would have been shut down, and so would the people who made the card."

A Tesco spokesman said: "We sell a large range of Christmas cards, including some which are intended to be humorous. It is never our intention to offend any customer and we are sorry if this card caused any upset."

He added that they were still deciding whether to remove the card from other Tesco stores.

Card manufacturer, Essex-based Quitting Hollywood, said it had no comment to make.

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