There was immediate backlash to the campaign, with more than 30 complaints submitted to the Advertising Standards Authority. Che Donald, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, described the campaign as “very poorly thought out,” while Christine Fulton, who co-founded the charity Care Of Police Survivors, which supports family of police officers killed on duty, tweeted she was “appalled” by Lush’s campaign.

Hilary Jones, Lush’s ethical director, says the company was “shocked” by the criticism leveled at the campaign. “Women have had their lives invaded by people pretending to be someone else,” she says. Jones doesn’t think the scandal boils down to a few rogue officers; she describes it as an institutional problem. More importantly, though Jones accepts that undercover policing is an important tactic used in uncovering abuses, that power, she says, should never be wielded against citizens challenging their government.

“This is not an anti-police campaign,” Andrea adds. “This is targeted at the spy cops unit, which were corrupt.”

Home secretary Javid also criticized the Lush campaign. “Never thought I would see a mainstream British retailer running a public advertising campaign against our hardworking police,” he tweeted last week. Andrea says she and other victims have previously reached out to Javid and were ignored. She says it was quite “galling” to then see Javid tweet about the campaign. “It’s the first time he’s bothered to speak publicly about it and it has not been on the side of the victim.”

Andrea says campaigners had also reached out to the former home secretary, Amber Rudd. In April, victims of undercover policing delivered a letter to Rudd calling on her to intervene in the inquiry. The only response they got was a one-line email sent by an office administrator.

In some cases, Lush has bowed to pressure and taken down campaign material from some shops to protect its employees. But more broadly, they refuse to end the campaign entirely. “We’re not going to abandon the victims in this,” Jones says.

*Name has been changed to protect people’s identities.

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