'Lads' mag' sellers could face legal action

The Lose the Lads' Mags campaign warms retailers they could face legal action if they sell magazines featuring naked women on the cover.
The Lose the Lads' Mags campaign warms retailers they could face legal action if they sell magazines featuring naked women on the cover. Photo: PA

Pressure groups UK Feminista and Object have warned retailers who stock lads' mags with near-naked women on the cover that they could face legal action.

The groups' Lose the Lads' Mags campaign says displaying such publications, or asking staff to handle them, could see them sued for sex discrimination or sexual harassment.

They have obtained legal advice from equal rights lawyers, who wrote an open letter printed in today's Guardian calling on retailers to stop selling the magazines.

High-street retailers are exposing staff and, in some cases, customers to publications whose handling and display may breach equality legislation.

Displaying lads' mags and pornographic papers in "mainstream" shops results in the involuntary exposure of staff and, in some cases, customers to pornographic images.

Every mainstream retailer which stocks lads' mags is vulnerable to legal action by staff and, where those publications are visibly on display, by customers.

– Equal rights lawyers

UK Feminista and Object may bring a test case against retailers who fail to act and the groups say they will support employees who are uncomfortable with images of naked or near-naked women on magazines, the newspaper said.

UK Feminista has joined with Object to call on retailers to stop selling lads' mags with near-naked women on the cover.
UK Feminista has joined with Object to call on retailers to stop selling lads' mags with near-naked women on the cover. Credit: UK Feminista

For too long supermarkets have got off the hook, stocking lad's mags in the face of widespread opposition, but this time we have the law on our side.

Every shop that sells lads' mags - publications which are deeply harmful to women - are opening themselves up to legal action.

– Kat Banyard, founder of UK Feminista

Sophie Bennett, campaigns officer for Object, added: " Lads' mags dehumanise and objectify women, promoting harmful attitudes that underpin discrimination and violence against women and girls.

"Reducing women to sex objects sends out an incredibly dangerous message that women are constantly sexually available and displaying these publications in everyday spaces normalises this sexism."