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Sainsbury’s Defend Modesty Cover For Gay Magazine

Sainsbury’s Defend Modesty Cover For Gay Magazine

by Ade Bradley20 Feb 2012
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Sainsbury’s supermarket have been forced to defend placing a modesty cover over an issue of Attitude Magazine dedicated to tackling young people’s issue and homophobic bullying.  The cover, which contains a fully clothed Daniel Radcliffe, was hidden from view on a high shelf in Sainsbury’s Dalston Junction, and spotted by freelance writer Scott Bryan.

Sainsbury’s defended the decision to So So Gay. A spokesman told us, “Following feedback from customers we introduced modesty covers several years ago across a wide variety of magazines. This is to ensure no offence is caused to customers who may object to the images or the content on the covers of some magazines. The titles that do have modesty covers do so for every edition so no particular cover is ever singled out.”

They later confirmed that the titles included were Gay Times, Attitude, Loaded, Zoo, Nuts and Bizarre. Magazines like FHM, Esquire, GQ, Stuff and Men’s Health were not covered by the policy.

FHM - Not covered

Not covered up

Bryan was unimpressed by their response: “I think Sainsbury’s response doesn’t make any sense. If you compare Attitude to another magazine such as FHM you will see that they share very little in the way of sexual or top-shelf content. Attitude even removed the ‘escort ads’ at the back last year. I think the magazine is on exactly the same par as you would see with GQ or Esquire Mag, not Big Boobs Zoo or Nuts. Its just a shame as the issue with Daniel Radcliffe in has stories about homophobic abuse and advice on coming out for today’s youth. If you were unsure about your sexuality and needed some advice, would you really reach for the top shelf of a supermarket?”

Some twitter users  expressed their disappointment with the decision:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/CreamTees/statuses/171618213333958656″]

So So Gay reader Holly Brockwell told us, ‘This is so disappointing. I’ve never seen an offensive ‘Attitude’ cover, but I’ve been plenty offended by FHM over the years. Do Sainsbury’s truly believe a man’s torso is outrageous? If so, they’d better start covering up every edition of ‘Men’s Health’, among others.  I think the implication is that a man’s body is offensive when viewed through the lens of gay sexual desire. And that offends me more than any cover photo could.’

 

 

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About The Author
Ade Bradley
A Gay Jewish Dyspraxic Atheist from Northwest London, exiled to Clapham, who likes ticking boxes. Addicted to plays and musicals and a big fan of stand up comedy - will tell you about how he could have been a famous radio star if you get him drunk.
56 comments
JEPJEP
JEPJEP

presumably this is up to local managers on an individual basis as to whether they implement this as the cover never seems to be obscured in my local Sainsburys.

sainsburys
sainsburys

@MikeDalgarno ... Any magazine’s cover can be reviewed if content changes are made, which has happened in some instances. Fraser.

sainsburys
sainsburys

@MikeDalgarno ... offence is caused. The titles that have modesty covers do so for every edition so no particular cover is singled out...

sainsburys
sainsburys

@MikeDalgarno Hi, we introduced modesty covers several years ago across a variety of magazines in line with PPA guidelines to ensure no...

sainsburys
sainsburys

@dafyddplymouth ... Any magazine’s cover can be reviewed if content changes are made, which has happened in some instances. Fraser.

sainsburys
sainsburys

@dafyddplymouth ... offence is caused. The titles that have modesty covers do so for every edition so no particular cover is singled out...

sainsburys
sainsburys

@dafyddplymouth Hi, we introduced modesty covers several years ago across a variety of magazines in line with PPA guidelines to ensure no...

sainsburys
sainsburys

@DanWs_tweets ... Any magazine’s cover can be reviewed if content changes are made, which has happened in some instances. Fraser.

sainsburys
sainsburys

@DanWs_tweets ... offence is caused. The titles that have modesty covers do so for every edition so no particular cover is singled out...

sainsburys
sainsburys

@DanWs_tweets Hi, we introduced modesty covers several years ago across a variety of magazines in line with PPA guidelines to ensure no...

Kerrian
Kerrian

if I see modesty covers on Attitude but not on nuts or the like I remove or swap them. simple militant gay here.

MikeDalgarno
MikeDalgarno

This is why I will never support stores such as @sainsburys. Unfortunately, I have seen this behaviour in many stores. Instead, I drop my shopping and leave...afterall I am not welcome

JonBradfield
JonBradfield

This is largely a case of their having a broadbrush policy to cover up the mag every issue as they do for nuts etc rather than deciding issue by issue. So an innocuous cover like the Radcliffe one this gets hidden without reason.

You can't cry homophobia on the evidence here: many of Attitude's covers ARE sexualised (google atitude magazine and see the images that crop up) in a way that is as least as much Nuts as it is Mens Health. In fact Mens Health is an interesting comparison - almost identical lack of clothes often on the cover model, yet with far less sexual intent.

So they're clumsy, and arguably prurient, and this is also perhaps to ignore the difference in tone, role and pose between women on Nuts and Men on Attitude (etc). It's a tricky one too in that a woman in her bra is clearly undressed, as she has underwear showing; whereas a man with his top off can be a highly sexualised image or utterly unsexual depending on other aspects of the photo.

Anyway: by covering up Radcliffe from the eyes down, it lets you pretend he's naked :)

daryncarter
daryncarter

@SoSoGay Trying to get an issue of GT last month I noticed both Attitude and GT had been stacked upside down and covered in local Tesco

nick_gc
nick_gc

I think it's the case they've not reviewed the magazine contents for a long time though some of the covers have been a bit "on the line" such as the Harry Judd cover with a full on crotch shot you could question as being something that should be covered up.