Nuts magazine rejects Co-op demand for 'modesty bags'

07/08/13

The publisher of Nuts men's magazine is refusing to place "modesty bags" over its magazines, and says it is willing to risk a drop in readership.

Last month Co-op supermarket demanded the magazine be delivered in plastic bags that would conceal provocative images of women on the front cover.

The chain said it would stop stocking the magazine from 9 September if that did not happen.

Nuts called it an "astonishing ultimatum".

Editor Dominic Smith told Newsbeat he had been "shocked" when he heard about it in the media.

I think Co-op will be surprised that we're not putting it in the bag. I think they were probably hoping for a nice easy PR win
Dominic Smith
Editor, Nuts Magazine

He said if Co-op now removed Nuts from its shelves, it would encourage its readers to shop elsewhere.

"If we do sell a few less issues, then so be it," he said.

Readership of Nuts, along with other 'lads' mags' like Zoo and Front, has dropped by more than 70% on average in the last eight years.

Nuts' publisher has already agreed to "tone down" the images and wording on the front cover.

Lads' mags concealed on a supermarket shelf.
Image caption Some supermarkets already use "modesty boards" to obscure lads' magazine covers

It says it follows discussions with Tesco, which said customers had raised concerns that young children were being exposed to the images on their shelves.

Co-op says its 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."

Following the announcement by Nuts, the publishers of rival magazine Zoo confirmed they are also refusing to bag their publication. They have agreed to tone down the cover images, after an agreement with retailers.

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