Feeds

Oz Santas suffer no 'ho ho ho' blow

Traditional phrase 'may be offensive to women'

Seven Steps to Software Security

A recruitment company's decision to advise its Santas to refrain from uttering the traditional "ho ho ho" because it "was too close to the American slang for prostitute" has caused a pre-Xmas rumpus Down Under, Oz's Daily Telegraph reports.

According to one former trainee Santa who signed up with Westaff, a company which supplies "hundreds of Santas across the country", he was told to lay off the hos since they "could frighten children and could even be derogatory to women". He quit in protest at the "political correctness gone mad", as did one other wannabe St Nick.

Julie Gale, head of the Kids Free 2B Kids campaign "against sexualising children", snorted: "Gimme a break. We are talking about little kids who do not understand that 'ho, ho, ho' has any other connotation and nor should they. Leave Santa alone."

Two department stores which employee Westaff-trained Santas moved quickly to reassure parents and kids that their Santas would not be gagged. A spokeswoman for David Jones at the Westfield shopping centre said: "Senior management have assured us that Santas provided to David Jones have not been censored in any way."

A spokesman for Myer, in the same complex, assured: "Myer has not directed our Santas to refrain from using 'ho, ho, ho' and believe the expression is an important Christmas tradition."

Westaff, meanwhile, wrote to stores to clarify its position. The company's "national Santa co-ordinator", Sari Hegarty, explained: "Westaff has been a provider of quality caring Santas for over forty years. Part of our advice to our Santas is that they should be mindful of children having their first Santa experience.

"We ask our Santas to try techniques such as lowering their tone of voice and using 'ha, ha, ha' to encourage the children to come forward and meet Santa. We wish you and your family a very merry Christmas."

Westaff national operations manager Greg Jansz added that it was "misleading" to claim the company had clamped down on hos and insisted "it was being left up to the discretion of Santa himself". ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.