Stuff magazine drops cover girls: 'We’re in a post-lads' mags era'

Research showed readers were being alienated by the gratuitous photos

The UK’s biggest-selling gadget magazine, Stuff, has dropped cover girls from its front and spreads because the pictures were alienating readers in a post-lads’ mags age.

A new look for the magazine was unveiled on Tuesday, with the conspicuous absence of a scantily dressed woman behind the technology headlines.

Editors originally aimed to attract readers by getting the magazine positioned alongside 90s lads’ mags but focus groups, audience research and cover trials have shown a shift in attitudes.

Instead of drawing readers in, the editor-in-chief, Will Findlater, said there were concerns that cover girls were making readers feel awkward and alienating potential buyers.

He said: “Stuff was launched in 1996 at the peak of the lad mag era.

“Nearly twenty years on - and with tech now an indispensable part of everyday life - our readership has changed.

“The covers used to help our position on the newsstand but our research tells us this is no longer the case.”

The once male-dominated readership is now made up of 40 per cent women.

Tesco has struck a 'modesty deal' regarding the front covers of magazines such as Zoo, Nuts and Front and Bizarre will be supplied in a bag Circulation of lads' mags has been declining in recent years “We want the cover to reflect what Stuff is about: the best technology in the world,” Mr Findlater said.

“Our new look will make it easier for us to bring our award-winning coverage… to readers united by their passion for technology - and nothing else.”

Trial covers on Stuff’s April, May and June 2014 issues removed cover girls from 20 per cent of the print run in four UK regions, while normal covers ran everywhere else.

The test demonstrated that readers everywhere far preferred the “non-girl” covers with sales 10 per cent up in April and also boosted in May and June, compared to the regular covers.

Stuff has received many complaints over the years about its use of models, with readers saying it was unrelated to the story or plain sexist.

No More Page Three and other campaigns have shone a spotlight on topless models and sexualised images in the media in recent years and while the Sun has refused to budge, the closure of Nuts earlier this year seemed to signal a sea-change in perceptions.

As Mr Findlater put it: “We’re in a post-lads' mags era.”

Read more: Lucy Pinder pictured crying on last Nuts cover
'No more page 3' protests erupt
'Why I started 'no more page 3' campaign'
Sport
footballLIVE: All the latest from today's Premier League matches
News
newsNew images splice vintage WWII photos with modern-day setting
Arts and Entertainment
The star dances on a balcony in the video
music
News
Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen learns that Peeta is still alive in Mockingjay Part 1
peopleListen to the actress sing in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Digital Printing Trainee / Computer Graphics

£8000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have an interest in compu...

Recruitment Genius: Content / Copy Writer

£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has bec...

Reach Volunteering: Trustee with experience in science communication

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: The Society for Expe...

Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines