2 Aug 2013

Lads’ magazines bow to Tesco pressure to cover up

Lads’ magazines Nuts, Zoo and Front agree to tone down their covers after pressure from supermarket giant Tesco.

Zoo, Nuts and Front agree to tone down their covers after pressure from Tesco

Tesco announced that the three magazines, famed for featuring scantily-clad women have already adopted their new look.

This week’s Nuts, for example, features two girls in bikinis, alongside the star of the Apprentice TV show and language considered “less lewd” by the retailer.

A Tesco spokesperson told Channel 4 News that the magazines will be changing their covers for all retailers, not just for Tesco.

The company said in a statement: “We have secured agreement from the publishers of Zoo, Nuts and Front that their magazine covers will be more modest from now on and the publishers of Bizarre will now supply the magazine in a bag.”

Tesco will also be putting an over-18 age restriction on the magazines. Anyone wanting to buy the magazines could be asked for identification at the till, just as buyers of alcohol are.

Their magazine covers will be more modest from now on.

The move comes after discussions with publishers in July, the company said, and follows the Co-operative’s demand earlier this week for lads’ mags to cover up their covers.

Tesco’s statement added: “We’ve had in depth conversations with our customers about this issue, and we’re putting new measures in place based on what they have told us they want. We’ve listened carefully to the concerns raised by the campaign groups, but our priority is to make sure we meet our customers’ needs and expectations.”

Sophie Bennett, a spokeswoman for the campaign group Lose the Lads Mags, said: “Tesco has been forced to act because of the thousands of people who have protested against their sale of sexist, harmful lads’ mags.”

She argued that the age restriction was a “half measure” which fails to address the “harmful impact” of stocking the publications, which she deemed sexist.

On Monday however, Nuts magazine told Channel 4 News: “The content and covers of Nuts are perfectly legal…Nuts’ content is broad and covers sport, gadgets, amazing photographs, games, trivia, humour and women.

“Responsible men’s magazines – like Nuts – celebrate women – and to suggest otherwise insults the adult men (and women) who buy, read and enjoy these products”.