Coming from a publication that once ran an article entitled 'Best Society Breasts', accompanied by photographs of 28 wealthy women's chests, perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised by this latest editorial shocker. Yet, we are - because, well, it's really shocking, and also completely bizarre.
British glossy Tatler, owned by publisher Condé Nast, has come under fire for running an advice column entitled 'Ten Charm Rules', where it encouraged teen readers to flirt with their friends' parents to secure invitations to fancy events.
Published in the March edition of the magazine's younger spin-off, Teen Tatler, the article suggests children buy presents and 'flirt gently' with the parents of their friends if they wish to be invited along to 'swanky' holidays and dinners at nice restaurants.
The "big secret to getting on in life", according to Teen Tatler, is to have other people's parents like you.
"Think of it as essential homework for life," the article continues. "Hone your social-seduction techniques now and those same tools will serve you handsomely for ever."
But, remember kids, "don't be a creep," the piece warns, "There's a fine line."
The article has attracted wide-spread outrage, with Biritish Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming telling The Times: "Being nice and polite is one thing, trying to create a sexual frisson between your friend's parents and your teenage self is, at the very least, ill-advised."
The Tatler website now contains the following 'clarification':
In today's Times, there is an article referring to a feature published in Teen Tatler, March 2014. If the Tatler feature is read in its entirety, it is clear that we intended it to be light-hearted. The headline in The Times - 'Flirt with friends' fathers to get on, teenagers are told' - is not a direct quote from the piece but a tweet by a member of the public in relation to it. We're sorry if the content has been taken out of context and apologise for any offence caused.
The story rounds out a bad week for the brand. On Thursday, Tatler editor Kate Reardon was forced to release a statement defending a speech she gave to female school students on July 5, after local papers criticised her for peddling an anti-feminist message.
During the talk at Westonbirt School for Girls in Gloucestershire, England, Reardon told female students that "being chaotic isn't cute" and advised: "if you have good manners, people will like you". Yes, it does all sound a little familiar, doesn't it?
"It doesn't matter how many A-levels you have, what kind of a degree you have, if you have good manners people will like you," the Gloucestershire Citizen quoted her as saying.
Reardon has said that while she was quoted accurately, her words were taken out of context.
"While Kate did indeed extol the virtue of good manners, this was set against the context of advice to work hard at whatever it is you choose to do, commenting about her early career," a spokesperson for Tatler told The Independent.
- Daily Life
Is it ever OK to complain about other people's kids?Related story: (See story)