Feeds

Oz Santas suffer no 'ho ho ho' blow

Traditional phrase 'may be offensive to women'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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". ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.