The Sun claims to be relaxed in dismissing the vociferous “No More Page 3” petition, which stands on the verge of 200,000 signatures.
Editor David Dinsmore’s line is that surveys show that readers enjoy Page 3 and vastly outnumber the critics – who don’t buy the paper in the first place.
But in recent weeks the tabloid has been using its news pages to campaign on the positive effects of going topless. Its “Check ‘em Tuesday” Page 3 breast cancer feature, which began in March in association with a charity called CoppaFeel, was afforded the first three pages on 8 July, after reader Wendy Bush discovered a lump. “I thought I was being paranoid – but The Sun saved my life,” she declared in the splash story.
Last Thursday, the red top gave page 8 to a feature on the #FreeTheNipple Twitter campaign, which is backed by singer Miley Cyrus and argues that women’s chests should be uncensored, like men’s.
“Deemed as offensive, the female nipple has spent years tucked away in bras and kept out of the press – other than The Sun’s Page 3,” said the paper as it noted that it was on the same side as a “new breed of feisty feminists”. It sounds rattled.