Last week it was brought to OCD Action's attention that a potentially offensive product which mocks OCD, is being sold in a range of stores, both online and on the high street. A number of people reacted and as a result of their hard work, the product has been removed from two stores.
Emily Davis, who appeared in the Daily Mail last week talking about the 'OCD sanitiser', has shared her thoughts with us;
Last week an offensive product called OCD sanitiser came to my attention after a friend of mine spotted it being sold in Paperchase. A quick internet trawl revealed it was being sold by a worrying number of companies. User reviews included 'great gift gag' and 'good joke value'.
Such a product not only upsets sufferers, it is also toxic to public opinion, as it reinforces the incorrect but widespread perception that OCD is just an quirky and humorous personality trait we should feel comfortable making jokes about.
Consequently, I put on my unimpressed face and declared a twitter war on ignorance. I named and shamed companies selling the sanitiser, and encouraged people to retweet me if they agreed. The response was overwhelming. I also released a picture of myself when my hands were at their worst, to emphasise the fact that OCD is no joke, nor is it 'just a bit of hand washing'. The Daily Mail picked up on my picture and campaign, and published the story online. The Telegraph also took note, and were quick to condemn Paperchase.
So far, Paperchase and Findmeagift have withdrawn the product in response. It's worth noting just how powerful social media can be in situations like these, and I would like to thank everyone who got behind my campaign, especially the hundreds of you who took the time to send me personal messages of support.
Thank you to Emily and everyone else who worked hard to get this product removed from these stores. If you spot this/similar products please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so we can take action!
You can read Emily's full blog post here.