A website has been slammed for advertising Covid-inspired Christmas merchandise ahead of the festive season.
Clothes and decorations making light of the killer virus are being flogged on Etsy – and some festive shoppers are loving it.
But a printing company said the items were “concerning” and possibly harmful after more than 143,000 people in the UK lost their lives due to Covid.
The questionable gifts include a T-shirt with the phrase “Baby it’s Covid outside” – where a facemask is used to represent the “o”.
But one buyer called Sarah said the T-shirt, which cost just under a tenner, brought a “much needed smile” to her sister’s face.
Other commenters left five star reviews and said the words inspired laughter.
But Alex Econs, who founded his own printing company called ICON, said the items should not be sold.
He told the Daily Star: “The messaging on these T-shirts is concerning, as are the reviews from some of the customers.
“It’s important that printers consider the impact and offence any design could cause to the public, especially around a sensitive subject such as the pandemic.
“Whilst all designs can be subjective, even independent printers, such as those on Etsy, have a responsibility to ensure any designs and messaging are not likely to cause harm.”
Etsy was also selling “Baby it’s Covid outside” scalable vector graphics, which buyers used for things like coffee cups and tea towels.
Katie Szare bought one and wrote earlier this year: “Excellent, I was able to use this on my circuit. The only change I made were to add a little more colour to it.”
Patricia Swaney added: “Turned out perfect.”
Another bestseller was a “novelty Gingerbread Man 2021 Covid-18 Vaccine Edition”.
The £7 gingerbread man decoration comes equipped with a mask and a vaccine syringe.
A warning on the website reads: “Items sold on Etsy, such as masks, aren’t medical-grade. Etsy sellers can’t make medical or health claims.”
This month one reviewer wrote: “Adorable and too cute. Just as pictured. I’ve been buying these as gifts for friends and family. They'll love them. Expectations exceeded.”
And another added: “These are so well made. Great attention to detail. Adorable reminder of 2021 for many years to come."
Also advertised on the site is an £18.65 “Coronavirus ornament” for your tree appearing to show what the virus looks like under a microscope.
The product description read: “Highly quality handmade glass ball perfect for the featured spot on your 2021 Christmas tree.”
Another Covid inspired tree decoration sold on Etsy are little vaccination bottles jokingly advertised as being either moderna, pfizer or Johnson and Johnson.
Etsy has been contacted for comment.
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