UK Politics

Supermarkets to hide tabloid front pages because of sexual content concerns

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Media captionNewspapers 'kept from children's eyes'

Two of the UK's leading supermarkets are to change the way they display newspapers because of fears about children being exposed to sexual content.

Tesco said its in-store "news cubes" would be redesigned so that only the newspaper mastheads could be seen.

Waitrose has announced it will change its displays so some front pages can be moved from children's lines of vision.

It follows months of campaigning by the groups Child Eyes and No More Page 3.

Tesco said it had listened to campaigners and customers and the changes would "strike the right balance for everyone".

Image caption Tesco was the first to announce it would be changing its displays

Customer Experience & Insight Director Tracey Clements said: "We are first and foremost a family retailer and it's important we do everything we can to promote the right environment in store."

Image copyright Waitrose
Image caption Waitrose will also be removing some newspapers from children's line of vision
Image caption Kathy McGuinness campaigns for shops to keep sexualised front pages out of sight of children

The changes, which the Tesco says will come into effect by the end of November, mean newspapers will no longer be displayed vertically.

Waitrose tweeted: "We've been working on this for some time and will soon be changing our newspaper fixtures so we can display some newspaper covers out of the eye line of children."

Child Eyes described this as "more amazing news", following Tesco's "fabulous" announcement.

No More Page 3 said it was "absolutely thrilled", adding that it was not just parents of young children who were unhappy about seeing sexualised images of scantily-clad women on display in supermarkets.

The group, which campaigns for the end of topless photographs of women in newspapers, said the changes were "a massive step in the right direction".

On its blog it said: "It sends a very strong message to the tabloids that Tesco don't think their front covers are appropriate material for display in a family-friendly environment, and that can only be a good thing in the long term."

Child Eyes was established in 2012 by south London parent Kathy McGuinness.

She told BBC News: "I first thought it was a problem when I was in a queue, just queuing up to buy groceries, and my older son, who was four then, was looking at a vertically-displayed newspaper front cover with an up-skirt shot of a woman and I just thought: 'This is really wrong.'"

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