Letter: On the shelf

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Indy Lifestyle Online
In your article "He published, he was damned" (19 October), Ian Hislop claims that WH Smith "banned" the issue of Private Eye published immediately following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. We did not. One store received a number of complaints about the cover and the manager removed copies until head office asked him to replace them. All our other 400 stores sold the magazine as usual and we increased sales of Private Eye by over 20 per cent year-on-year, for that issue.

We have a policy that we stock what our customers want to buy. We do not buy products which we feel will be offensive to the majority of people visiting our stores but we try not to act as censors. This means that we sometimes sell products which provoke complaints from some of our customers but if most people are happy for the product to be on sale, we continue to sell it.

Judith Swales

WH Smith, Swindon

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