WORLD store in Queenstown told to remove offensive 'Go f*** yourself' sign from shop window

Fashion label WORLD's Queenstown store has removed a shop window display which greeted passers-by with "go f*** yourself" and "motherf*****".

Their Queenstown store is situated close to the waterfront on Marine Parade - a hive for tourists and visitors - and a member of the public complained about the signs yesterday.

A Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesperson said a complaint was received from a member of the public and enforcement officers visited the store shortly afterwards.

"Any signage containing sexually explicit, lewd or otherwise offensive content are prohibited," the spokesperson said.

"The store cooperated fully and promptly removed this signage."

When called by 1 NEWS, a staff member at the Queenstown store refused to provide a spokesperson to answer questions about the signs and hung up.

A staff member again declined to discuss the signs or refer the matter to a spokesperson when a 1 NEWS reporter later visited the store.

It is the second display involving offensive language from the New Zealand-based fashion company this year.

Earlier this year, Stuff reported that the store had put a snow globe in its shop window display containing the word "f***".

A spokesperson for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the agency did not receive any complaints about the latest display. However, it will investigate if receives any.

Two retailers have had complaints made against them to the ASA this year for window displays containing offensive words.

In one case, Wellington store Iko Iko displayed a sign saying "zero f**** given". In another, a pop-up shop near an early childhood centre had a sign reading "you're doing f****** great".

Both stores removed their displays while the ASA was investigating and before a ruling was made, so the board deemed the cases to be settled.

The ASA spokesperson said the agency generally uses the Broadcasting Standards Authority's annual "Acceptability of Words" survey results when deciding whether a term is offensive or not.

In the BSA's 2018 survey, "motherf*****" was the fifth most offensive term, while "f***" was thirteenth on the list.

The BSA has, in recent years, noted a softening in Kiwis' attitudes towards the use of offensive words and phrases in broadcasting, noting in a 2013 study that "it is possible that desensitisation is occurring through greater exposure".

In 2017, WORLD was criticised for a window display that read: "Things women love to hear: 1) I love you 2) That's on sale", with some saying it was demeaning to women.

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Earlier this year the company faced a backlash after some imported clothing featured tags indicating the items were locally made. Source: 1 NEWS

Late last month, WORLD admitted it had misled consumers by displaying tags indicating some of their clothing items were made in New Zealand, when in fact they were not.

WORLD is co-owned by Dame Denise Ann L'Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper.

Two storefront window displays at the World Queenstown store. Source: Supplied