Outrage as John Lewis sells Argentinian Falklands globe


John Lewis

John Lewis has apologised for selling a globe marked with the Argentine name of the Falklands Islands. It's an embarrassing oversight, and appalling timing as the row over this territory continues to attract strong feeling on all sides.

So how did it happen, and is this the first time this sort of thing has happened?

The mistake

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the 'vintage inspired' globe names the Falkland Islands as the Islas Malvinas - the Argentine name for the islands. The British Overseas territory is made up of 61% Falkland Islanders (mostly of British descent) and 29% British, and is known by its British name everywhere on the island.

Falklands veteran Simon Weston OBE told the newspaper that the store should 'hang its head in shame'. A spokesman for John Lewis said the initial sample had the correct name, but a second batch included the incorrect label. It added that as soon as it was aware of the error it contacted the Indian supplier and insisted all further stock was correct.

Not alone

However, this isn't the first time that a printing error has slipped past those who ought to know better.

This March, South West Trains put up a poster in every carriage advertising the help available to customers. Unfortunately they insisted that the assistance was available from a guardon (a guardon this train).

In March last year it was Topshop under fire for mangling Shakespeare's name on a t-shirt. The shirt featured the quote 'Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo?' attributed to Shakespere. The t-shirts were quickly withdrawn.

In January 2011 it was the turn of Boots, which printed a t-shirt saying 'Dog, your such a dude'.

In October 2010 a leisure centre in Salford eventually took down a sign advertising its 'Indoor Bowels Hall'.

Football teams are not immune either. David Beckham took to the pitch in 1997 for a Charity Shield match with his shirt marked Beckam.

But perhaps the best came from the Scottish Parliament, which carved the name of author Alasdair Gray - along with a well-known quote - into the new Holyrood building. Unfortunately not only did they spell his name wrong, but they included a quote from another author entirely.

Of course, we should be wary of casting the first stone. After-all, we're all only human, and humans make mistakes. It's just a shame that these were so public and so embarrassing.

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