Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: Britney Spears, Lolita And Birthday Cards

Madeleine McCann: Britney Spears, Lolita And Birthday Cards

by | 1st, February 2008

mccann-morocco.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MAIL: “Woolworths forced to withdraw LOLITA bedroom furniture range for girls”

The Lolita Midsleeper Combi, a wooden bed with pull-out desk and cupboard designed for girls aged around six, retails on the Woolworths website for £349.99

The name has “sexual connotations”. A “mother” sees it and writes: “Am I being particularly sensitive, or does anyone else out there think it’s bad taste for Woolies to have a kiddy bed range named ‘Lolita’?”

Well, you don’t have to buy it…

A spokesman for the company says: “What seems to have happened is the staff who run the website had never heard of Lolita, and to be honest no one else here had either. We had to look it up on Wikipedia. But we certainly know who she is now”

Trusting Wikipedia for information has its own dangers. (And look out for an article on the state of British education.) But no danger is bigger than a bed named, perhaps, in honour of a charcter in a novel by Vladimir Nabokov

Or Lolita the killer whale

Or Lolita Fatjo, pre-production coordinator for Star Trek

Or many other women called Lolita

“On-line parent power has been growing in recent years. In 2006 Tesco stopped selling a pole-dancing kit on its website over accusations it was destroying children’s innocence. And last summer an on-line campaign by Mumsnet resulted in a cinema advert about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann stopped from being screened before the children’s film Shrek the Third

THE TIMES: “Staff at Woolworths baffled by fuss over the little girl’s bed called Lolita”

“Woolworths has withdrawn bedroom furniture for young girls bearing the sexually charged name Lolita after a campaign waged by a mothers’ online chat room”

An internal company e-mail seen by The Times goes: “As discussed, we’ve got the product below on our website. Can it be hidden as soon as is possible? Then I really need to find out how it came about being on our site and who bought it. Lolita is a word that means sexually active young teenagers, so a young girls’ range of bedroom products is in very poor taste. We’ve had an approach from a website who are clearly a little disturbed by this”

THE SUN: “Gift from Maddie for twins”

No, not furniture

“Twins Sean and Amelie McCann will get a special present from their missing sister Maddie today on their third birthday. Parents Kate and Gerry got the gift for the pair who, at three, are the same age as Maddie when she vanished last May”

Sad. But is it relevant to the case? Is it news?

Grandmother Eileen McCann tells us: “Of course Madeleine being there would be our dream but we’ll do our best to make sure the twins have a lovely day”

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Card from Madeleine at McCann twins party”

The twins are getting a gift in the Sun…

“Gerry and Kate McCann will throw a birthday party for their twins tomorrow – complete with a card from their missing four-year-old daughter, Madeleine”


“Little Sean and Amelie McCann will open a special present from their big sister as they celebrate their third birthday today”

With a card?

Says Eileen McCann: “There will be presents galore, lots of fun and games, lots of food and a big cake. Of course, Madeleine being home would make it complete and we continue to pray for that blessing”

SUR (Spain): “Marbella suffer their first loss of the year against Linares”

A football match: “Wearing T-shirts to raise awareness of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and Mari Luz Cortés, the children playing in the tournament accompanied the players onto the pitch as mascots at the beginning of the game”

RADAR: “Theater of Cruelty, Carnival of Souls”

“British rags hardly pretend to be providing straightforward news. What they are doing is what used to be the job of popular fiction; namely, processing myth out of characters sucked in from real life. Right now the cast list includes such durable regulars as Kate Moss—with or without Pete Doherty—Princes Harry and Wills, Posh and Becks, and Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter Madeleine’s kidnapping/disappearance in Portugal made them last year’s headliners”

ALISTAIR CAMPBELL (TIMES): Britney Spears: person or news commodity? She’s a great singer but obviously ill: we in the media have to decide to leave her alone”

Britney Spears and Madeleine McCann..?

“In some sections of the media, Madeleine McCann and her family are there. As I said in the Cudlipp Lecture on Tuesday, her disappearance was an interesting and important story, the stuff of every parent’s nightmare. But it quickly became a commodity in which most of the media got close to hysteria, and some have remained there. Let us not pretend the coverage was driven by concern for the child – there are many missing children – or compassion for the parents – certainly not once the mood shifted – or regard for the truth. It has been the worst example of recent times, on a par with Diana, of some newspapers thinking that the word “Madeleine” sells, and finding literally any old nonsense to keep her name in that selling position on the front”

THE GUARDIAN: “Mechanics of the McCann campaign – Professional media management may have generated coverage of Maddy’s disappearance, but it hasn’t helped with public sympathy for the family”

“Try as they might neither Clarence Mitchell nor Justine McGuinness could quite shake off the sense that the way they’ve managed this case might have contributed to some negative public sentiment towards the family. In place initially as what Mitchell described as “a buffer” between the shocked and distraught parents and the world’s media, hungry for news about Madeleine, it’s clear that what developed was a professional media management operation. With city PR firm Bell Pottinger on hand – primarily, we can assume, to defend the interests of their clients Mark Warner Holidays – as well as Justine and, latterly, Clarence with all their experience of Westminster spin, the McCanns could not have wanted for more professional advice. But as time went on media management itself – and once you’ve started feeding stories to the press to get control of the agenda, you really can’t stop – began generating negative reaction from other parties”

Madeleine McCann: Making news and sensation from grief

Posted: 1st, February 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann Comments (1,022) | TrackBack | Permalink