German tabloid Bild takes nude women off front page

Copy of Bild, file pic
Image caption The pictures have appeared on most front pages for 28 years

Germany's biggest circulation tabloid, Bild, has decided to end the tradition of publishing pictures of naked women on its front page after 28 years.

Bild has published more than 5,000 pictures of naked women on page one since 1984.

Under a headline "Bild abolishes Page 1 Girl", Friday's final subject, Eva from Poland, says: "I am the last".

The decision to abandon the tradition was taken at an editorial meeting on Thursday - International Women's Day.

The paper said: "It is perhaps a small step for women but a big step for Bild and for men."

Bild reprinted a cutting from 13 May 1970 which carried the headline: "Women have less in the head than men".

It said on Friday: "This old headline is now completely embarrassing for us".

Loud debate

The BBC's Stephen Evans, in Berlin, says that although pictures of nude women will continue inside the paper, there does appear to be a change of image, perhaps in the light of falling circulation.

Our correspondent says there is a real debate in Germany over the role of women, as they make up a far smaller proportion of the boards of companies than in either Britain or the United States.

He says the loudness of that debate and the presence of a female leader of government may be a sign of changing attitudes - attitudes that Bild has picked up on.

On Thursday, Bild gave all female employees the day off to mark International Women's Day and said the decision on the nudes was taken by the men.

According to industry figures, Bild outsold Britain's The Sun in 2009 but has fallen back since and is now neck-and-neck in the latest estimates.

The World Association of Newspapers says both are behind six other newspapers, mostly in Japan.

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