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Copyright 2001 The Observer, All Rights Reserved

[ December 9th 2001 ]

A leading line of luxury lingerie, promoted by Kelly Brook and Nell McAndrew, will be subjected to a fierce boycott campaign this week. As part of the protest, women will be urged to 'support breasts, not dictators' in a series of posters of models wearing barbed-wire bras.

Campaigners are furious that the lingerie manufacturer Triumph International has rented a factory in Burma, where workers are paid 70p a day, and where the military leaders have a record of human rights abuses and use of slave labour. The protesters want the company to withdraw from the troubled state and will this week launch its anti-Burma campaign, just as Triumph starts to promote its latest line of lingerie using a computer-generated cyber model, similar to Lara Croft.

"Triumph are clearly in Burma for the abundance of cheap labour and the prospect of a 'compliant' workforce," said Yvette Mahon, director of Burma Campaign, the organisers of the protest. 'They are supporting - financially, politically and morally - an illegitimate military junta that oppresses and impoverishes 48 million people.'

In the past, Triumph has used TV presenter Brook and the model McAndrew - upon whose physique the video game character Lara Croft was based - to promote their products. But now the provocative poses are to be mimicked in new posters featuringmodels wearing barbed-wired underwear.

In recent months, other British high street retailers, including BHS and Burton Menswear, have ended their involvement in the region in the face of public protests about work conditions there. This latest campaign is particularly controversial because it is also claimed the factory site was refurbished by child labour just before Triumph moved in. Last week the company refused to comment on this.

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