A Nottingham beauty salon is facing a barrage of criticism after it printed a leaflet aimed at students implying looking good is more important than going to university.
Icon distributed the discount leaflet with the message “students, your education is important but looking good is imperative”, next to an image of a young woman.
The business, based in the Cornerhouse, was the target of dozens of comments on Facebook, with some women saying the message was “insensitive” and “disgusting”.
More comments followed when the business’s Facebook account responded to a post saying: “Many thanks for that. Please call the salon, and as well as getting an amazing haircut you can let out all of your anger issues.”
Some Facebook users defended the salon, saying critics had taken the leaflet too seriously.
And the owner of the business also hit back, adding the leaflet had not been designed to cause offence.
Picture: One user ‘edited’ the leaflet and posted it on Facebook
After being posted over the weekend, the original post criticising the flyer had received nearly 1,000 ‘likes’ and been shared 235 times.
The outcry echoes a much bigger protest which broke out in the summer over a poster designed by a protein company which some said put unfair pressure on young women to achieve an “unrealistic” image.
One person wrote of the Icon leaflet: “Shocking!! This really sinks to an all time low in marketing tactics! Back to the dark ages.”
“Women start worrying about their looks, their hairstyles, about not being able to go out because they think they don’t look right.”
Carol Zlotowitcz, a Nottingham writer and feminist, said: “The message says your looks are more important than your studying, that is where they made their big mistake.
“What happens is women start worrying about their looks, their hairstyles, about not being able to go out because they think they don’t look right.”
But some also defended the salon online. One person wrote: “Never have I seen such a cruel attack on a local business for the choice of its words on a flyer.”
Icon co-director Steve Sharpe said the idea had not been to cause offence, and said he was disappointed people had criticised the firm on social media, rather than contact it directly.
He said: “I’m sorry if I’ve offended anybody in the past, but I would say it to their face,”
He added: “Why would we offend somebody deliberately?”