Asda apologises for "mental patient" fancy dress costume

PHOTO: Asda apologises for "mental patient" fancy dress costume

LONDON - Asda, Britain's second biggest retailer, has apologised and withdrawn a product it advertised on its website as a "mental patient fancy dress costume" after being criticised as stereotyping those suffering from mental illness.

The firm, the British arm of Wal-Mart, the world's largest stores group, was selling the costume, designed to look like a blood-splattered straitjacket, for 20 pounds (S$40.20).

Its advert featured a man wearing the jacket and wielding a meat cleaver. Asda said it removed the product from its website on Wednesday.

"We'd like to offer our sincere apologies for the offence it's caused and will be making a sizeable donation to (mental illness charity) @MindCharity," the firm said on its Twitter account.