13 May 2013 - 8:48am | posted by | 4 comments

Marks & Spencer criticised for censoring name ‘Dick’ from birthday cards

Marks & Spencer criticised for censoring name ‘Dick’ from birthday cardsMarks & Spencer criticised for censoring name ‘Dick’ from birthday

High street retailer Marks & Spencer has been accused of taking political correctness too far after it emerged that it has banned use of the name ‘Dick’ from its online birthday cards.

The practice came to light after 77 year-old grandmother Ruth Levy attempted to send a digital greeting to her friend Richard, whom she calls Dick, but was blocked by an automated program.

Instead of sending the card Marks & Spencer gave the grandmother a warning message, citing her use of ‘profanity’ for the block

Commenting on her experience Levy said: “When it came up with, ‘Your message cannot contain profanity’, I didn’t get it. I’m obviously too innocent. I thought it must be the word “significant” that it thought was dodgy, but it still would not accept it. I tried various ways, taking out bits of text, but it still said no.

“After I wrote to M&S to ask what I had done wrong, I could not believe it when they sent me a prissy letter saying it was because my friend is called Dick.
“It is political correctness gone absolutely mad.”

Responding to the incident M&S said it would not change its systems to protect people from harassment.

Comments

13 May 2013 - 10:46
john_smart's picture

Well, they've just lost the business for my Great Aunt Fanny's 90th...

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13 May 2013 - 17:57
torontobankruptcy

That is why I use the online service where I can put any picture and any words I want into a greeting card and then the service will print, stuff, address, stamp and mail the envelope for me all of about US$1 plus postage. No censors and about a quarter of the cost - www.sendoutcards.com/b2b

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14 May 2013 - 21:00
les1314937's picture

ITS HARD TO BELIEVE ,MANY OF THE OLDER GENERATION USED THE SHORT VERSION OF RICHARD INTO DICK,EVEN TODAY WE STILL USE THE NAME DICK TURPIN

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16 May 2013 - 11:38
homer17156's picture

@les1314937 It's a shame that this whole political correctness is taken to such an extreme these days. M&S don't seem to mind showing half naked women on their website (lingerie). The usual double standards. (but I'm not complaining ;-) )

I used to get called 'Dick' at my first job, and later on in life, got named Dick Dastardly, which I kind of like. :-D

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