Playboy seems almost like a quaint relic from a bygone age but a retailer has copped criticism for wheeling out a new line featuring the classic brand
Playboy seems almost like a quaint relic from a bygone age but a retailer has copped criticism for wheeling out a new line featuring the classic brand

Playboy gear sparks outrage

Playboy seems almost like a quaint relic from a bygone age compared with the pornographic excesses freely available online these days.

But that hasn't stopped activist group Collective Shout for slamming Brisbane-based retail chain City Beach for allegedly objectifying women in its latest clothing release.

The youth-focused outfit headquartered near the Queen Street Mall has just wheeled out a new line of gear, which includes the famous bunny-eared logo on caps, beanies, hoodies and socks. There are also T-shirts and hoodies featuring some of the classic retro magazine covers.

Pretty tame stuff, you might think.

Collective Shout campaigns manager Caitlin Roper
Collective Shout campaigns manager Caitlin Roper

But not for Collective Shout campaigns manager Caitlin Roper (illustrated), who claimed the issue has already sparked plenty of outrage on the group's Facebook page for supposedly promoting the global porn industry.

"The surf store is acting as a gateway to introducing young people to pornography by normalising and embedding it in clothing targeted at them. It also treats young women as porn industry props, using them to advertise a brand with a history of mistreating women and children,'' Roper said in a nationally-distributed statement on Tuesday.

"City Beach further encourages men and boys to see women and girls as available for their gratification."

Your diarist had hoped to have a chat with City Beach's low-profile directors Melville Hicks and Carmelo Ierna but they did not respond to a request for comment.

However, the company, which has traded for more than 35 years, defended itself via a statement posted on Instagram and Collective Shout's Facebook page.

line of Playboy-themed clothing launched by retail group City Beach
line of Playboy-themed clothing launched by retail group City Beach

"We do not promote or endorse male or female objectification,'' it said.

"At City Beach, we support all men and women's sexual tendencies and lifestyle choices. We as a brand believe in equality, diversification and freedom of choice.

"We have many customers who love the Playboy fashion brand, so we ask that you please be mindful in not bullying or shaming those who wish to wear this brand."

It's not the first time the two groups have clashed.

Back in 2010, Collective Shout raised a ruckus over clothing and other merchandise sold at City Beach that featured images of naked women, some of whom were bound and gagged.

FEELING TWITCHY

Nerves are on edge in the highest echelons of the deeply-troubled Public Trustee of Queensland, with an external probe gathering pace and another senior figure leaving for good.

Workplace Health and Safety investigators issued a formal request for documents last month and the material must be turned over by no later than Friday next week.

It follows complaints from at least 17 frontline workers around the state, who say they are struggling to cope with unbearable workloads, inadequate staffing and a lack of training.

WHS has warned of unspecified "enforcement action'' if it finds shortfalls in the way the PT manages the psychological health of its troops.

Meanwhile, City Beat has learned that chief operating officer Jeanette Miller will not be returning after she took a shock leave for "personal reasons'' in March.

We hear that any projects she was involved in will now be restarted, including various recruiting efforts. She was also immersed in the sale of the PT's office building in Brisbane and the planned move to a new headquarters in the CBD.

Originally published as Playboy gear sparks outrage