Big UK music (HMV) retailer bans long hair and tattoos

This people, is everything that’s wrong with the music industry! Well, it’s not really everything, but it’s really wrong! UK music retailer HMV banned employees from having long hair and tattoos, claiming they want to attract a broader audience, one that might be offended by such traits.

“We’ve got new management. It’s ridiculous and discrimination”, said one member of staff.

This does seem discriminatory, doesn’t it? Plus, it just sounds like bad marketing. A big part of music fans love rock music, and a big part of this big part loves long hair and tattoos. Hip hop people often have tats; reggae people have their dreads. Electronic people have all sort of stuff, this just doesn’t seem like a good decision if you ask me. HMV responded by saying it wanted staff to express their personalities.

But they stood by this decision.

“[The appearance policy] has been taken out of context and sensationalised and we’ve given a wrong impression of what we want to do,” marketing manager Mark Hodgkinson explained. “It is is part of something bigger within HMV about being really welcoming and inclusive to customers and encouraging more diversity of customers and making them feel comfortable, welcomed and embraced by our stores.”

How do you feel about these new rules? Is banning a certain appearance broadening the audience, or is just limiting it? Is this a case of discrimination or not?

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