A leading supermarket is threatening to withdraw lads’ mags from shelves unless they are wrapped in sealed covers that hide their explicit content.
The Co-operative, which has around 4,000 stores in the UK, has ordered men’s magazines such as Loaded, Nuts, Zoo and Front – long criticised by campaigners for containing images of semi-naked women – to conceal their titles in so-called “modesty bags” by 9 September.
This month the retailer introduced screens on shelves in an attempt to conceal the magazines’ front covers.
Campaigners say the magazines on display are inappropriate to young children and are degrading to women.
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.”
In 2006 Sainsbury’s introduced modesty covers after complaints from customers. Following a 2011 campaign by the parenting website Mumsnet, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, the Co-op group and BP petrol stations pledged to move the magazines to higher shelves or hide them with plain covers.
But this is the first time that a supermarket has directly challenged the publishers of the titles.