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Simply Beach has 'explicit' app withdrawn by iPhone

Gerrard Dennis, managing director of The Simply Group
Gerrard Dennis, managing director of The Simply Group

by Katie Alston

A family-owned swimwear company was shocked when their iPhone app was removed by Apple for being "overtly sexual".

Simply Beach, which employs 24 staff across Whitstable and Faversham, created the app in a bid to make it easier for customers to find bikinis and swimwear online.

It showcases all of the products found on their website and allows users to do a search by either product or department and from there customers can view pictures and detailed descriptions of the company’s stock.

On February 19 the company received an email from the iPhone App Review team which read: “Your application Simply Beach, contains content that we had originally believed to be suitable for distribution.

However, we have recently received numerous complaints from our customers about this type of content and have changed our guidelines appropriately. We have decided to remove any overtly sexual content from the App store, which includes your application.”

Gerrard Dennis, managing director of The Simply Group said: “The email arrived straight to a junk mail folder and to be honest we thought it was a spam joke.

Simply Beach had its app withdrawn because of 'explicit' images like this
Simply Beach had its app withdrawn because of 'explicit' images like this

“We then checked to find the app had in fact been removed. It seemed like political correctness gone mad. It’s just women in bikinis, swimsuits and kaftans.

“It was a shock as citing 'sexually explicit content’ as the sole basis for the ban seemed a bit ambiguous.

“If the iPhone team were referring to the models wearing bikinis and swimsuits, then this is nothing short of absurd."

The Simply Beach app developers Explodingphone noticed the original app had been reinstated on iTunes on February 23, with the company receiving no word from Apple on the subject or about any age restriction.

Mr Dennis added: “Being charitable to Apple, maybe they made a genuine error. However, if that were the case I think an apology would have been forthcoming."

Apple was unavailable for comment.

What do you think? Either add a comment below, write to the Whitstable Gazette at Gazette House, 5-8 Boorman Way, Estuary View Business Park, Whitstable, CT5 3SE or email whitstablegazette@thekmgroup.co.uk

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