‘Lads’ mags’ refuse Co-op’s call to cover up

Two ‘lads’ mags’ have rejected a call from the Co-operative to cover up their front pages – and are now set to disappear from the retailer’s shelves.

Last month the Co-op called for magazines such as Nuts, Loaded and Zoo to have sealed “modesty bags” around them – following widespread concern about sexualisation.

The supermarket chain said they had until 9 September to either comply or be taken off the shelves.


However both Nuts and Zoo say they have toned down their front covers, but are not going to introduce the bags.

It comes as Tesco says it will only sell the magazines to over-18-year-olds, and will place them at the back of the magazine shelves.

A group campaigning against ‘lads’ mags’ warned that, rather than being harmless, the publications portray women as “dehumanised sex objects”.


Paul Williams, managing director of Nuts’ publisher IPC Inspire, claimed the Co-op’s actions were “knee-jerk” and “wrong”.

And he claimed that the issue was “a question of how far you can restrict the public’s ability to consume free and legal media before it becomes censorship”.

Following Nuts’ announcement, Zoo’s publishers also said they are refusing to bag their publication.

Not harmless

The Co-op commented: “Our position has not changed, if Nuts, or any of the other publications, Zoo, Loaded and Front, do not put their titles into modesty bags by the date we’ve given of 9 September, we will no longer sell the magazines.”

Feminist group Lose the Lads’ Mags told the media: “Lads mags aren’t just a bit of harmless fun.

“By portraying women as dehumanised sex objects they fuel attitudes that underpin discrimination and violence against women.


“Displaying lads’ mags in everyday spaces like supermarkets sends the deeply harmful message that treating women like sex objects is normal and acceptable.”

Last month Cathryn Higgs, a policy manager at the Co-op, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that she has “every hope” the publishers will take the “responsible approach and put them in a bag”.