Top Tory goes “Nuts” over lads magazines

A senior Tory councillor wants to see all “lads” magazines banished to the top shelves of shops as part of a campaign against children being exposed to sexual images.

Aveley councillor Wendy Herd has tabled a motion at next weeks full council meeting that calls for the council to ” entrust trading standards to work with and encourage members of the business community to ensure that best practice is adhered to with regard to the placing and distribution of material that is likely to cause offence.

“As this can include the display of sexually inappropriate magazines and media items, the Council request that checks be made as part of the Trading Standards risk based inspection programme, to ensure that such material is not displayed in positions where it can be clearly visible to younger children, be this through merchandising or at the point of sale.”

The motion follows on from a campaign led by mumsnet which has campaigned to banish magazines such as Nuts, Zoo and Loaded to the top shelves of retailers.

A spokesperson for the site said:

“There is widespread discomfort about the way retailers display magazines and newspapers that carry adult sexual images on their front covers. Nine out of ten respondents to a Mumsnet survey said that they do not want their children to see these images. 82% had seen sexually explicit covers displayed where children could see them, often on the lower shelves of newsprint displays.

“The worst offenders included local newsagents (cited by 76%), motorway service stations and petrol garages (52%), and WHSmith (31%). 68% said that it affected their overall perception of the stores in question.

Building on the momentum of Mumsnet’s ‘Let Girls be Girls’ campaign, in which Mumsnet successfully challenged retailers to ensure that their clothing ranges do not exploit or play upon children’s sexuality, Mumsnet will now be asking retailers to ensure that adult material is not displayed where children can see it, either by placing it on the top shelf or by using opaque covers to conceal the images.

When asked which publications regularly use cover images that are inappropriate for children, 81% cited Nuts; 76% cited Zoo; 65% cited Loaded; 62% cited the Daily Sport and 59% the Sunday Sport.

The motion will be debated next Tuesday at the council chambers at 7pm.

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