WHSmith travel stores campaign
Posted by charliegrrl on March 21, 2007
Object have launched a campaign calling for WHSmith to sell lads mags and pornographic newspapers, in line with retail guidelines in their shops in train stations and airports.
WHSmith state they display lads mags and pornographic newspapers above 1.2 metres in their shops, in order to comply with *NFRN guidelines to keep such material out if sight of children. 1.2 metres is the average height of a 7 year old. They tend to do this in their high street shops. However, go into any train station and airport, and you will see this is not the case. Furthermore, WHSmith sell ‘adult’ porn mags in their travel stores.
Why is there this discrepency between their high street shops and travel shops..?
Please support the campaign by emailing WHSmith, calling for lads mags and pornographic newspapers to be sold above 1.2 metres in their travel stores. Also demand that they stop selling ‘adult’ porn mags.
Here is an example of an email Layla wrote to them recently…
I am absolutely disgusted about the way in which WH Smith runs its stores. Over a year ago, at the WH Smiths in Cardiff Central Station, I made a complaint about the fact that there were magazines of topless women on the very bottom shelf, as soon as you walked in to the store. There was a child who was pointing these magazines out to his mother. Do you believe that it is appropriate for young children to see pictures of naked women posing together in a sexually provocative way? Because interestingly, forcing a child to witness acts of a sexual nature is a sexual offence under the Sexual Offences Act, with which, there is virtually no difference between that and forcing children to look at pictures of semi-naked women in your shops.
The shop manager informed me that there was nothing she could do as the publishers of these magazines pay a special rate to have their magazines in the places where they’re most noticed. So it seems that you are happy to accept their money and to throw away your morals in exchange. “Where they’re most noticed” -surely magazines of a sexually explicit nature should be kept to where they cannot be so easily seen? They are highly offensive, degrading to women and it is beyond belief that WH Smiths considers it perfectly acceptable for children to witness such things.
After writing to your head office last year and receiving no reply, I am disgusted to see that this pratcice has not changed. You persist in displaying sexually explicit magazines well below eye level, in places where children can see them, pick them up and look through them.
This is unacceptable and something needs to be done to stop this abhorrent practice.
Thank you for your email, expressing your concern with the display of ‘Men’s Lifestyle’ magazines at our Cardiff Central Station store.
We appreciate that we need to be sensitive about the positioning of certain items, however, we do not wish to exclude items from our range that many of our customers wish to buy.
Currently, we aim to display these titles in our Travel stores at a height of 1.2 metres and above. However, there will be occasions when this is sometimes not always possible due to space restrictions and during special promotions. With regards to offensive covers, we are currently meeting with suppliers to obtain polybags for certain titles within this range. We hope to implement this within the next eight weeks.
We are always grateful for the feedback we receive and I hope that my reply helps to demonstrate how seriously we consider customer comments while continuing to cater for the varied preferences of our Travel customer profile.
Thank you for allowing us the chance to explain our position in this matter. If I can help you further, please contact me.
Customer Service Coordinator
*NFRN stands for National Federation for Retail and Newsagents