A bathroom sign depicting a man peeping over the top of a female toilet stall in Velvet Burger’s Fort Street store in Auckland has been removed after receiving a complaint from a customer who claimed the image triggered a childhood trauma from a similar real-life experience.
Zandri Clarke-Spies said the sign brought back a painful childhood memory of being photographed by a paedophile while in a store changing room when she was ten years old.
“The first thing I did after I got back from the bathroom was tell my husband about it. It was really weird, you wouldn’t expect something so small to trigger such an old memory,” said Clarke-Spies, “I was trying on some jeans and a shirt, so I wasn’t wearing anything. As I was getting dressed I saw this flash of something dark in the corner of the [Warehouse] changing room.”
With this memory triggered by the tongue-in-cheek Velvet Burger store, she took to Facebook to relay her opinions on the appropriateness of sign.
“In light of everything that’s going on, I found it a little unfortunate that the following sign is hanging on the door of a ‘forward thinking’ brand that caters to a woke millennial market. Remove it please, for the sake of decency,” Clarke-Spires wrote.
Following the post, the restaurant received multiple complaints on its Facebook page. James Arnott, Velvet Burger general manager said the sign has since been removed.
“Absolutely, we’d identified that that wasn’t in line with our values. It’s just one of those little pieces of branding that at one stage was tongue in cheek but probably not appropriate. That’s not up to our standards. It is old signage that we’ve kind of overlooked. So it’s good that she’s pointed it out,” said Arnott.