Aldi will change the name of its ‘rape yellow’ paint after a complaint from a sexual abuse victim.
No, I'm serious. The paint is the colour of rapeseed flowers, a bight kind of yellow seen in nature every summer, and while the online name of the paint is ‘rapeseed yellow’, on the lids of the tins it is shorted to just ‘rape yellow’.
A customer who suffered assault in the past became ‘choked up’ when she noticed the name of the quick-drying gloss paint, and then she contacted the Telegraph to lodge her complaint. She said ‘I looked at the paint and thought it can’t possibly say that, you have got to be kidding me, there’s no way they would sell that. I started choking. I got straight out of there. I was furious and upset."
She took pictures of the paint and sent her friends too: “I thought maybe I was being sensitive because of my situation, but I sent pictures to my friends and they were all shocked by it. They couldn’t believe what I was saying. I contacted Aldi afterwards and they just assumed I was being sensitive because I was a rape victim.”
So now Aldi has to change the name of the paint and have issued this statement: “This paint is a colour widely referred to in the industry as ‘RAL 1021 Rape Yellow’, which refers to rapeseed. The colour name will be altered to rapeseed yellow for all future production of this paint.”
The angry customer is still upset and said to the Telegraph that "How the hell did it get out with that name in the first place? You wouldn’t sell something called abortion red or poo brown. To me it’s the same thing, it’s offensive. It is a word that is a problem. How many other words can you think of for yellow without using that one?"
As an Art Director, I can think of probably a hundred words for yellow (and a few pantone numbers off the top of my head), but rapeseed is a specific one, and rapeseed is also known as rape. So in context, it's not offensive at all. Comparing it to "abortion red" is a fallacy.
Literally a single-tweet account (yep, one tweet only and it's this one) has been set up to show images taken at Aldi.
In our local Aldi this evening and noticed a brand of their Glossy Paint called " Rape Yellow" not a good idea. pic.twitter.com/56mt4FSU4r
— Richard Cameron (@MadPara16) March 18, 2016
Meanwhile, if you like paint, lets look at some old Dulux ads! Colour prohibition 2014, Dulux "walls" 2010, Colourless future 2015, Solid emulsion 1981, Harmonies, 1984, and the whiter shades of pale, 1982. Trigger warning!: the Yellow collection.