By Ian Dipple Friday 13 September 2013 Updated: 13/09 10:39
A DECISION to ban lads mags from the shelves of a supermarket chain has been branded a step towards a nanny state by Redditch’s MP.
The Co-operative Retail Group announced on Monday (September 9) it was stopping the sale of Front, Zoo and Nuts magazines after publishers failed to comply with a request to present them in modesty bags.
The decision affects all 4,000 of the company’s stores including those in Studley village centre, Headless Cross, Crabbs Cross, Alvechurch and Wythall. The publishers of Loaded magazine have agreed to sell it in a sealed modesty bag from the next issue on September 18.
The Midweek and Sunday Sport newspapers have also been pulled because despite indicating they would comply with the request, made at the end of July, they failed to do so. The move is in response to complaints about the over exposure of children to the overtly sexual nature of pictures of women used on the front of such publications.
Steve Murrells, chief executive retail for the Co-operative Group, said they had listened to and were responding to the concerns of their customers.
“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.”
But Redditch MP Karen Lumley said measures such as placing them on the top shelf and using small screens to block the front covers were enough.
And the member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, suggested magazines carrying images of air brushed celebrities on their front covers were just as damaging to young women but there was no suggestion they should be banned.
“Do we want to restrict people from buying something that’s not actually illegal?” she said.
“This is one step too far and I’m disappointed that’s what they have done. They are on the top shelf with black covers and if they are up high enough they can’t be seen but the people that want to buy them know where to get them.
“We are moving towards a nanny state and I’m not in favour of that.”
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