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Posts Tagged ‘Over-sexualisation’

In the midst of piling clothes into big boxes and hunting for missing library books, I had a phone call from the Church Times yesterday afternoon.

They’d been reading the article about my success in getting lads mags put on the top shelf in a local Asda store and were interested to know more about my ‘campaign’. I hadn’t had it in mind to start one, but somehow it seems to be launching itself.

One of the things I said to the CT reporter was that complaining to your local supermarket about the display of lads mags isn’t difficult. You can do it verbally or in writing in a couple of minutes at the customer services desk.

The supermarkets need to know that most people buying their groceries don’t want to see these magazines and particularly don’t want them shown to their children, or anyone’s children for that matter. The supermarkets also need to know that consumers are prepared to take their custom elsewhere if these displays are not changed.

It has also struck me that it is likely that far more supermarket customers  are mothers and others concerned with preserving the innocence of childhood than buyers of lads mags. Consumer power could win this argument.

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The success of my complaint to Asda about their lads’ mags display was written up in our local paper this week. The article was pretty fair, although I’d hardly call a five minute queue at customer services and a five line complaint a ‘battle’, as they headlined it.

As the Express and Star have an online version people have the opportunity to comment. The commentators seem to fall into two camps – the ‘good on yer’ set and the ‘you’re a prude, haven’t you got anything better to do with your time, you leech on society you’ group.

So far, all the ‘vicar’s wife=prude’ comments have been from men. Interesting, but sadly not that surprising.

Meanwhile, my friend Mrs Starcook has complained about the same thing in the Wolverhampton Asda. They, however, phoned her and said they couldn’t do anything about the position of the magazines because ‘head office decide where everything is placed’. Sounds like buck-passing to me. The Asda I went into didn’t have the same problem.

Maybe they just need a few more people to complain. Any takers?

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Asda logo

I had a letter in the post today which cheered me a little. It was an apology from the manager of the Asda store which I’d shopped in for the first time on New Year’s Eve. He wasn’t apologising about the shocking queues in there, but then I’d not actually complained about that.

I had complained about their magazine displays.

We were hurtling around the shop trying to find a few sandwiches for lunch after a morning trying to sort out things in the vicarage we’ll be moving to at half term. We took a short cut down the magazine aisle and I was horrified to see the display of ‘Lads’ Mags’.

The store had a full shelving stack of FHM, Nutz and the like, with their glossy covers of buxom naked women. Because they had so many of these mags, they had them handily diplayed right at the height where my kids could get a full eyeful.

Now, I would really prefer it if these magazines were not produced, sold or desired by their readers. However, given that this is the case, I feel strongly that they should displayed out of the eyesight of the under-18s. Hence my complaint to the manager of Asda. The over-sexualisation of children in our society is a worry to many and surely this sort of display must make a contribution.

So I was pleased that he wrote to me, apologised and told me that he has arranged for ‘the magazines in question to be moved up to the top shelf to avoid any other issues’.

Seems like it’s worth complaining. Maybe I should start a campaign?

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