Lads' mags cover ultimatum

The Co-operative has given publishers of lads' magazines an ultimatum to cover them up in "modesty bags" or face having them removed from shelves across 4,000 stores.

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Should lads' mags be covered up?

The Co-operative supermarket's threat to pull lads' magazines from the shelves if they don't "cover up" has sparked a fierce debate on the ITV News Facebook page.

Many disagree with the Co-op's stance, such as Jan McCluskey, who says:

We are becoming a nanny state. I'm sure kids see worse than this on the beach.

Anita Johnson thinks TV is a worse offender than magazines:

They are on the top shelf away from young kids. Maybe they should target the rubbish that's on TV which is far worse and in kids' viewing hours.

However, mum Kelly Gillam believes the publications should not be seen by children:

They are not all on the top shelf, in our local shop you walk in and my six-year old gets a face full! There is a time and place for stuff like this and it's not while I'm buying Moshi Monsters magazine or CBeebies.

Lads' mags should 'not be stocked at all'

Lose the Lads' Mags campaign group has called for the Co-operative to stop stocking the magazines altogether, after it issued a deadline for publishers to 'cover' them up.

Sophie Bennett, a spokeswoman for the campaign 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. That's not what corporate social responsibility looks like.

'Other retailers should cover up lads' mags' as well

Exposing children to lewd images is not appropriate, the Equalities Minister said today, after the Co-operative revealed that it had issued lads' mags publishers a deadline to cover up or face having them removed from their stores.

Jo Swinson, Minister for Women and Equalities. Credit: PA

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

"Exposing children to lewd pictures that portray women as sex objects is not appropriate. That's why The Co-operative's decision to implement the Bailey review recommendation for publications with overtly sexual images on the cover to be displayed and sold in modesty bags is very welcome.

"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."

Co-operative to introduce 'modesty bags' for lads' mags

Publishers of lads' magazines have until September 9 to start providing 'modesty' bags, or the Co-operative will not supply it in their stores.

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.

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Co-operative gives Lads' mags cover-up deadline

The Co-operative has given publishers of lads' magazines an ultimatum to cover them up in "modesty bags" or face having them removed from shelves across 4,000 stores.

Shelves of "lads' mags" on display in an Edinburgh newsagents. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Titles such as Front, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo - known for their pictures of scantily-clad models - have been given until September 9 to deliver the magazines in pre-sealed bags.

The retail group, which describes itself as one of the UK's largest magazine sellers, had already introduced opaque screens on shelves earlier this month to shield children from "lewd pictures" on front covers.