Hit or miss? Co-op announces crackdown on explicit magazine covers

The Co-operative has issued a deadline to the publishers of lads' mags to cover up sexualised images of women on the covers of titles such as Loaded and Nuts.

Cover story: Co-op issue an ultimatum to publishers
Cover story: Co-op issue an ultimatum to publishers

The retailer said the decision was a response to customer concerns over children’s exposure to the images. On Radio 4’s Today show, Co-op policy manager Cathryn Higgs said: ‘I’ve every hope they will take what we believe is the responsible approach and put them in a bag.’

How I see it

John Coventry, UK comms director, Change.org

Grassroots consumer campaigns are having real impact on how brands make decisions. The Co-op has told its family audience that it will listen to them above the publishers – and that’s a strong message to send.

The Co-op trades on its ethical image, and this puts that core value front and centre.

I am not keen on the prudish ‘modesty wraps’ moniker (a Mumsnet user renamed them ‘pervert pouches’), but this is a positive move by the Co-op at a time when the representation of women in the media is in the spotlight more than ever.

This week’s furore over Twitter abuse and the hugely successful grassroots campaign calling on The Sun to drop Page 3 has changed the game on this issue.

Whether by luck or design, it was a good week to make this announcement.

The devil will be in the long-term detail, but as a short-term PR win, it’s a hit.

Was the Co-ops announcement a hit or a miss? Tell us in the comments below.

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