Friday, 11 March 2011

Lads' Mags Banished to the Top Shelf

Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, the Co-op group and BP petrol stations have all agreed to put magazines with sexually explicit front cover images behind plain covers or banish them to the top shelf.

Frustratingly WHSmith will not be following suit.  The group’s current policy “requires men’s lifestyle magazine titles be displayed at minimum height of 1.2 metres, equivalent to the average adult chest/shoulder height” but fails to recognise that chest height for an adult is often eye-level for a primary school child.

This is great news but the display of sexually explicit covers is still an issue; A recent Mumsnet survey found that 82% of parents had seen covers displayed where children could see them, often on the lower shelves of newsprint. 

The survey found that individual newsagents, rather than the big chains, were the biggest offenders.  It’s clear that consumer pressure is having an effect so if you’ve seen a display that consider inappropriate please make your views known.  We have worked closely with the Front Page Campaign on this issue and we have come up with an easy way for you to complain if you have seen a newspaper or a magazine with a sexually explicit cover which has been inappropriately displayed.
  • If you’re not sure how to go about complaining
  • If you’re worried about speaking out.
  • If you’ve tried to complain but the response has been unsatisfactory
By filling in an online complaints form here we can raise your concern with the retailer on your behalf and we can also keep a record of how widespread this problem actually is. 

The sexually graphic material on the covers of newspapers and magazines displayed at the eye level of children is just one contributing factor to the premature sexualisation of children which we are seeing in our society. 

The Government has asked Reg Bailey to look into the sexualisation of childhood and he is seeking the views of parents, grandparents and other carers and also those who work with children in a professional capacity.  If you would like to feed your views into the consultation and you’ve not done so already you can do this here.  You have until Friday 18th March to make your views known.

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