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'Lads' mags' given cover-up deadline

Source BBC News@ tienganhvui.com


Lads' mags in a Co-op storeThe Co-op has already introduced its own measures to obscure lads' magazine covers


The Co-operative has given so-called lads' mags six weeks to cover-up their front pages with sealed "modesty bags" or be taken off sale in its stores.


The 4,000-outlet retailer said it was responding to concerns by its members, customers and colleagues about images of scantily clad women on covers.


Titles such as Front, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo have been given a deadline of 9 September to act by the Co-op.


One campaign group called for Co-op to stop selling such titles altogether.


The Co-op, which is owned and run by its more than 7m members, introduced opaque screens for lads' magazines on some shelves earlier this month.


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.


"Whilst 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.


"As an interim measure, we have introduced our own opaque screens on shelf to reinforce our existing policy limiting the display of such material."


'Welcome move'

The Sport newspaper has already agreed to comply with the Co-operative's new policy.


Women and Equalities Minister Jo Swinson said the Co-op's move was "very welcome".


"Many parents aren't comfortable with the way that sexualised imagery has become like wallpaper - everywhere from the bus stop to the corner shop," she said.


"Adults should be left to make their own decisions about what legal sexual images they look at, but the place for these is not next to the sweets at children's eye-level. I hope other retailers will follow the Co-operative's lead."


But campaign group Lose the Lads' Mags said the Co-op was not going far enough.


Spokeswoman Sophie Bennett said: "Thousands of people have called on retailers to stop selling lads' mags like Nuts and Zoo.


"The Co-operative's actions show our voices are being heard. Yet the Co-operative are attempting to sell their customers short.


"The so-called 'modesty bags' they are demanding from publishers are designed to allow the Co-operative to continue profiting from sexist, harmful lads' mags - but just a bit more discreetly."





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