Cover-up calls for ‘sexual’ lads’ mags
PUBLISHED: 20:00 16 August 2013
NEWSAGENTS are divided on calls for ‘lads’ mags’ to cover up to protect children.
Magazines Zoo and Nuts have courted controversy with their risque covers, prompting major convenience store chain Co-operative to warn the publications will be withdrawn from sale unless they agree to introduce new ‘modesty covers’.
The covers are already used on top-shelf items, and store owners say the increasingly sexual content of the magazines means they should adopt a similar policy.
However, publishers appear ready to dig their heals in and refuse to comply.
With a deadline of September 9 to begin delivering the publications in pre-sealed bags, Co-operative has stated that if its demands are not met, the magazines will be withdrawn from sale in more than 4,000 of its stores.
It is not yet known if other mens magazines including Front and Loaded will comply.
Ray Monelle, owner of Orchard News in Orchard Street backed Co-operative’s stance.
He said: “I think it’s a good idea, it’s a top shelf item in my view.
“All of those items are in a sealed bag, so why shouldn’t these be?
“As a member of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, we’ve been advised by them to put these nearer the top shelf.
“These types of magazines are not a big seller here but we won’t be following the Co-op’s lead by withdrawing them.”
Steve Murrells, retail chief executive for The Co-operative Group, said: “As a community-based retailer we have listened to the concerns of our customers and members, many of whom say they object to their children being able to see overt sexual images in our stores.
“While we have tried to mitigate the likelihood of young children seeing the images with a number of measures in-store, the most effective way of doing this is for these magazines to be put in individual, sealed modesty bags.”