Qatar removes Victoria's Secret's 'offensive' bottles from lingerie store shelves

DOHA (AFP) - Authorities in Qatar have ordered bottles of perfume pulled from the shelves of a lingerie store after the name of the product - "Victoria's Secret: Strawberries and Champagne" - was deemed offensive.

Perfumes as well as creams and a body mist product were all removed from the shelves at one of Qatar's main shopping centres, the Landmark Mall in Doha.

The economy and commerce ministry said on Twitter over the weekend that the products went against the "customs, traditions and religious values" of Qatar.

The ministry provided no further explanation, but the reference to Champagne may have been problematic given the Gulf state's strict regulation of alcohol sales.

Alcohol is not banned in Qatar but its sale is limited to certain hotels and bars. Expatriates can buy alcohol but only if they have an official licence and earn over a certain amount of money.

An employee at the store told AFP that the products had been removed on Saturday "because of the name", suggesting that a complaint may have been made to authorities.

On its website, Victoria's Secret describes the product as "a tempting, fruity fragrance... with a splash of flirtation."

A Qatari online news service, Doha News, reported separately that perfume bottles featuring the Playboy logo had been removed from another store in Doha.

Energy-rich Gulf emirate Qatar is deeply conservative but also home to hundreds of thousands of expatriate workers who far outnumber native Qataris.