The Co-operative Group has told publishers of lads’ mags they must put their magazines in sealed modesty bags or they will be withdrawn from sale in over 4000 Co-operative stores.
Following Prime Minister David Cameron’s bid last week to restrict internet access to pornography, the Co-op has give titles such as Front, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo until September 9 to deliver the magazines in pre-sealed bags.
Steve Murrells, Chief Executive Retail for The Co-operative Group, said: “As a community-based retailer we have listened to the concerns of our customers and members, many of whom say they object to their children being able to see overt sexual images in our stores.
“Whilst we have tried to mitigate the likelihood of young children seeing the images with a number of measures in-store, the most effective way of doing this is for these magazines to be put in individual, sealed modesty bags.”
The retailer says it has responded to growing concerns by its members, customers and colleagues over exposure of children to the overt sexual images on the front covers which can be seen in-store.
The Sport newspaper has already agreed to deliver all editions to Co-operative stores in this way from 9 September, following pressure from the retailer.
The Minister for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson MP, said she hoped that other retailers would follow the Co-operatives lead. “Many parents aren’t comfortable with the way that sexualised imagery has become like wallpaper – everywhere from the bus stop to the corner shop, she said.
“Adults should be left to make their own decisions about what legal sexual images they look at, but the place for these is not next to the sweets at children’s eye-level.”