September 17, 2012 17:00
HMV: '"Chris Brown beats women" sticker stunt has helped promote the album'
'More people now know there's a new Chris Brown album out,' says spokesperson
Over the weekend (September 15), shoppers at an HMV branch in Cambridge reported that copies of the controversial singer's new LP had been defaced with advisory warning stickers which read: "WARNING: Do not buy this album! This man beats women!"
The first photo of the labels was tweeted by Cambridge University Student Union Women's Campaign, though the organisation - whose stated aim is to "represent women students in Cambridge and campaign for gender equality" - are remaining coy about their involvement in the stunt.
Speaking to NME, a spokesperson for the high street retailer said that although the people behind the stung had "got their point across pretty effectively", they may have unintentionally boosted Brown's profile by making more people aware that he had released a new album.
"We were as surprised as anyone when the stickers appeared in one of our stores outside of London at the back end of last week," they said. "Obviously someone must have snuck in to put them on a handful of CDs, and although they weren't up very long before staff removed them, the person responsible managed to take a snap and send it out to media."
I guess they got their point across pretty effectively – with widespread coverage around the world, though, by the same token, quite a few more people now know there's a new Chris Brown album out.
Earlier this week, a representative for Brown was forced to defend the singer from widespread criticism following reports that his new tattoo is a reference to the bruised face of his ex-girlfriend Rihanna.
The singer endured a huge online backlash after people pointed out that the tattoo bears a striking resemblance to a face with the same injuries that he inflicted upon the 'Talk That Talk' singer, but his representative said: "His tattoo is a sugar skull (associated with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead) and a MAC cosmetics design he saw. It is not Rihanna or an abused woman as erroneously reported."
Brown and Rihanna were recently photographed kissing and hugging at the MTV Video Music Awards. Rihanna recently told US chat show host Oprah Winfrey that she still has feelings for her ex. "I think he is the love of my life," she said. "He was my first love. Now we're very close friends. And that's not anything we're going to try to change."
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