It’s not every day you see a child waving a pack of Durex under your nose, but thanks to a trip to Boots at the weekend that’s exactly the scene that was played out in front of me, by my own daughter no less.
This was not the result of the aisle we were looking in, let me quickly point out. It was an innocent, family-friendly shopping trip, or at least it was supposed to be. I was standing in the queue waiting to pay and minding my own business when the incident occurred.
The packets of Durex were at my daughter’s eye level, not mine, next to the painkillers and other last minute ‘essentials’ you may discover you need moments before you pay for your shopping. Or not in our case.
In the ‘olden days’ when I was seven years old, you’d find packets of sweets shouting out for your attention in these aisles. But retailers bowed to public pressure and understood that children would grab the sweets and a difficult situation between parent and child would ensue.
Common sense prevailed, although not enough sense in this case. Now we have a difficult situation of a different kind, which is easily solved, I discovered, by suddenly noticing there are sweets nearby and pointing to them. It proved an excellent way of diverting attention away from adult contraceptives.
Never have I been more relieved to see a tube of Smarties.
But I'd like to suggest Boots re-think their merchandising.