Letter: The bottom line

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The Independent Culture

The bottom line

Sir: In an otherwise fine article about British men's publications' penchant for cover babes to boost sales (Review, 18 August), writers Paul McCann and David Thomas get it all wrong when they explain American magazine Movieline's reluctance to put Liz Hurley's bum on the cover.

"Too shocking for American sensibilities?" Not at all - a few rows up from Movieline on the news-stand Americans can buy mags featuring men's erections, simulated sex (in various combinations) and other activities that are illegal to publish in Britain. Indeed, at certain newsagents you can even get penetration (photographs of it, that is).

Movieline's unease about the Hurley photo had more to do with its readership - half of whom are women and, judging from their advertisements, a significant number are gay men - not exactly the market that Hurley's bum would appeal to. There is a difference between a movie magazine and a men's magazine: if McCann and Thomas took long enough to stop ogling the cover, they might notice.