Poundland has come under fire from politicians and mental health campaigners for selling a peanut-based chocolate treat called “Nutters”.
The sweets, which can be purchased online or in any one of the many, many Poundland stores located throughout the UK and certainly bear more than a passing resemblance to the more popular brand of Peanut M&Ms.
However, the discount store giant has come under attack for its use of the word “Nutters” with MP Norman Lamb among those to condemn the confectionary.
“There is a stigma attached to mental health and we need to be careful about the way we talk about it,” Lamb told The Sun. “The product needs to be quickly withdrawn from sale and Poundland needs to apologise.”
Lamb regularly campaigns on issues related to mental health and has spoken openly about his son’s mental health issues and the suicide of his sister.
Speaking to Huffington Post UK, Mental Health Foundation spokesperson Cal Strode branded the product a “mistake”.
“It’s unlikely they intended to make a gimmick out of mental health as the design is almost identical for their ‘Choccers product’, though their poor choice of naming and packaging undoubtedly leaves a bad taste for many,” he said.
“We’ve come a long way in challenging everyday mental health stigma, companies have played a positive part in this, and so it’s important not to undo any of this work by perpetuating tired stereotypes just to market a product.”
Urban Dictionary certainly highlights the negative connotations associated with the word “nutter”. Six of the seven entries listed alongside the word mention in as a term used to describe an individual who is “insane”, “psychotic” or “mentally unwell”.
Only one entry appears to endorse Poundland’s use of the word, defining it as “a word to describe something that is totally crazy and awesome.”
Poundland has no plans to withdraw the product at this point.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.