Convenience store chains could soon be issuing modesty covers for non-porn titles which carry explicit cover images.
A major convenience store chain confirmed it was currently in discussions on the issue after receiving complaints from customers. A senior manager for the chain, who did not want to be named, said that he believed a downward turn in sales was driving so-called lads' mags to put increasingly explicit covers on their magazines and that he thought that modesty covers would be issued to stores in the near future. He said that he had recently received a phone call from a store manager concerned that customers may be put off using his store because of the explicit nature of the covers.
Retailer Hamdy Shahein, owner of Hamdy's newsagents in Stoke Newington, London - who currently displays lads' mags on the top shelf in a way that only the titles can be seen by customers - said that he would be keen for modesty bags to be made available: "It would be much better. It would keep customers, retailers and publishers happy."
However, Association of News Retailing managing director John Lennon said that he didn't think that modesty covers would be widely used for the time being on non-porn titles, as there was a code of practice in place recommending that explicit titles are kept out of sight and reach of children. He said: "The industry code of practice requires retailers to stock these titles away from children's mags."
Last month Sainsbury announced that it would be issuing modesty covers for lads' mags from June this year. The chain had reportedly received a number of complaints from customers.