UK Markets open in 3 hrs 56 mins

Poundland hit with backlash over sale of 'offensive' sweets

Poundland’s ‘Nutters’, which are similar to M&Ms have come under fire for their “offensive” packaging

Discount retailer Poundland has come under fire for selling sweets called Nutters which have been met with outrage from mental health campaigners.

The sweets, which are similar to M&Ms, feature images of cross-eyed characters on the packaging and have been branded “offensive” and “distressing”.

MORE: Australian supermarket introduces ‘quiet hour’ for customers on autism spectrum

Speaking to The Sun, former health minister MP Norman Lamb demanded the products be withdrawn from shop shelves.

Lamb called the sweets, which are on sale in the chain’s 896 stores, “unbelievably stupid”.

MORE: Poundland ‘gets jobless to work for free under government scheme’

He said: “There is a stigma attached to mental health and we need to be careful about the way we talk about it.

“The product needs to be quickly withdrawn from sale and Poundland needs to apologise.”

(Gideon Mendel/Corbis via Getty Images)

Dr Sophie Dix, of charity MQ: Transforming Mental Health, said: “Such offensive language and distressing imagery is a real step backwards.”

MORE: Poundland claims Toblerone shape ‘not distinctive enough’ for trademark

Chartered psychologist Dr Rick Norris added it created the impression mental health issues were “not a serious thing”.

In a statement Poundland said it was “saddened to hear that the item had caused offence” and will “assess this line”.