The Co-operative pulls lads’ mags and sport for not covering up

09 September 2013

The Co-operative Retail Trading Group has announced that, as of today (9 September 2013), it will no longer be selling lads’ mags, Front, Nuts and Zoo, in more than 4,000 Co-operative stores after the publishers refused to meet requests by the Group to put the magazines in sealed modesty bags.

The Midweek and Sunday Sport newspapers are also being pulled from all Co-operative stores, after the publisher said it was no longer able to fulfil its earlier undertaking that it would deliver all editions to Co-operative stores in modesty bags from today.

The request to the publishers of Front, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo, by all Co-operative societies, including The Co-operative Group, which is one of the UK's largest magazine retailers, was made at the end of July, in response to growing concerns by members, customers and colleagues over exposure of children to the overt sexual images on these front covers which, despite the retailer’s best efforts, were still sometimes visible in store. 

Whilst the publishers of the monthly title, Loaded, have agreed to put the magazine into modesty bags for the next issue on 18 September, the publishers of the other titles have refused to comply, so, along with the Sport newspapers, they will no longer be sold in Co-operative stores. 

Steve Murrells, Chief Executive Retail for The Co-operative Group, said:

"As a community-based retailer, we have listened to and acted upon the concerns of our customers and members, many of whom said they objected to their children being able to see overt sexual images in our stores.  

“We believe individual, sealed modesty bags are the most effective way of addressing these concerns, so we will no longer be stocking the titles that have failed to meet our request. This action will make our stores more attractive to families with young children, by creating a more family-friendly shopping environment.” 

Kathy McGuinness, Co-Founder, Child Eyes, commented:

"Child Eyes is delighted that The Co-operative has taken the lead to protect its customers' children from sexualised images in its stores. We applaud The Co-operative for putting children's welfare first, and hope other supermarkets will listen to their customers and follow suit."

For further information, please contact:

  • Michelle Henderson, PR Business Lead - Food (Tel: 0161 767 4292, Mob: 07770 925958)
  • Adele Mandy, PR Manager – Consumer Campaigns (Food) (Tel: 0161 767 4280 Mob: 07713 314894)