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WHSmith store covers up gay magazines – but ‘lads mags’ are uncensored

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  1. From what I’ve gathered of this situation, the store in question had experienced issues with these magazines being shoplifted- hence the cases. This is an isolated incident, and no other WHSmiths stores are doing this- and Attitude’s twitter reflects this. This seems a bit of a misunderstanding, if not a complete non-issue.

    1. Paula Thomas 5 Sep 2011, 12:17pm

      In which case why don’t W H Smiths put out a statement to that effect rather than having a response of ‘no comment’?

      1. They have. http://www.tweetdeck.com/twitter/WHSmithcouk/~Ct0Ra
        If you look at Attitude’s twitter you’ll see they’ve responded to them- just because they haven’t responded to pinknews doesn’t mean they haven’t at all.

    2. Eddy - from 2007 5 Sep 2011, 3:17pm

      And of all the 100s of magazines that WHSmiths sells no other of those magazines have been so shop-lifted as to warrant a similar response from WHSmith? That is very hard to believe.

      What is easier to believe is that local homophobes (religious or otherwise) have complained to the management of this store about Attitude’s content.

      I was browsing a brand-new (non-gay) hardback book in a High Street bookshop a couple of weeks ago when I came upon a scrap of paper sandwiched between two pages. It read: “This book is full of rubbish that is against the word of God”.

      The religiously-deluded are constantly campaigning.

  2. My local Sainsbury’s does this with Attitude and GT as well.

    1. Candid Calum 5 Sep 2011, 12:13pm

      Which store is that? The media needs to find out, and many people need to complain. Perhaps some kind of boycott of that store would be best as well until they stop doing so. We need to ensure all stores stop doing this as soon as possible. It’s disgusting!

    2. Jessica Geen 5 Sep 2011, 12:18pm

      Hi Brendan,

      Would you email us with more information? news@pinknews.co.uk

      Thanks

      1. Sainsburys on Regent Road in Salford/Manchester does it. When I asked why on twitter, this was the response

        (quote) Hi, we aim to meet the demands of a wide range of customers, so cover magazines that we feel some may find offensive (unquote).

        The next time I went back I checked to see if Nuts et al were covered up. No, just the gay magazines.

      2. Dr Robin Guthrie 5 Sep 2011, 3:24pm

        When are you going to bar this KEITH character from these forums.

        I do not expect to come to an LGBT web site only to be told that I am a dirty pedophile and will burn in hell.

        And your editorial lack of commitment is appalling.

        I have no issue with logic reason argument, but this chaps hatred is evident for ALL to see.

        LGBT life is difficult enough with coming to this site only to have more hate spat in your face.

        Just deal with it, will you.

      3. Dr Robin Guthrie 5 Sep 2011, 3:40pm

        Why was my comment asking for KEITHS offensive paedophile comments removed.

    3. And have you complained to your branch of Sainsbury’s and to Sainsbury’s head office?

      What was their response?

  3. I know the guy who brought this to light – he took the photo on facebook. He wasn’t happy but went to the manageress who informed him that it was simply a matter of these mags being prone to theft.

    Doesn’t make it right though.

    1. And it might be interesting to think why these particularly magazines are stolen rather than others. A teen friend tried to buy Diva once (not sure in which shop) and she was asked her age at the till and was so embarrassed she walked away – not at the age question, at the general vibe coming from the till operator. Surely investigating and stopping the shoplifting is best, not putting up those signs?

      1. Well it was explained to me that basically the likes of Nuts and Zoo are much more accessible for retailers to grab so it wasn’t an issue if these w3ent missing. They could readily order more.

        I’m not sure I buy it – but I’d be interested to know if this was common practice in all of their stores before going on the rampage and boycotting WH Smith.

        1. An interesting explanation, but I’m not sure I believe it, at least not completely. It doesn’t quite ring true, in my opinion. But thanks for that anyway :)

    2. And he believed the store with that story? Why don’t they just put security tags on them. Why hide the magazines? Total nonsense excuse. Do they cover other products that are prone to theft? NO. They do not. They put security tags on them.

    3. Dan Filson 5 Sep 2011, 2:13pm

      Why does covering them make them less “prone to theft”?

  4. I dont see what the problem is. Stores and shops have their own procedures, they are fit to do as they wish.

    1. I think not.

    2. Yes, I’m sure that would go VERY well, if an ethnic person was censored on the front cover of a magazine. Please, think before you type. Stores are not free to do as they wish, there are certain rules and regulations that they must follow, censoring the gay magazine was a clear violation of this.

    3. Actually, Matthew, stores are subject to the Equality Act, same as the rest of us. If they treat lesbian and gay-themed materials differently from heterosexual materials, then they leave themselves open to prosecution (unless, of course, they have a sound reason for the different treatment).

      1. REALLY!!!
        Which offence?

    4. Dan Filson 5 Sep 2011, 2:15pm

      “Stores and shops have their own procedures” – if you believe that, you can believe anything! W H Smith is a heavily centralised operation, with store layout, what goes on which shelf layer all heavily determined centrally. In the long run-in with Private Eye did store managers have freedom to stock and display it?

  5. I find @twinkleboi ‘s website address offensive… that should be censored…

    Ihaveamassivecock.com
    Anyone with the name twinkleboi should be dealt with as suspicious.

  6. Am sure if it were more like pink news and covered real stories instead of titillation it wouldn’t be covered but let’s face it, it isn’t so don’t make a storm out of a tea cup

    1. To be honest I’ve always found attitude and GT pretty decent on the mix of showbiz stories and real pieces of journalism.

      Besides, PN has an unhealthy obsession with all things Gaga so…

      1. Well Attitude and GT don’t ‘borrow’ their stories word for word from US based websites either.

        Pink News has that covered.

        Thank you Pink News. Through you we can all read 2nd hand US news.

  7. I’ll thought out decision, probably on a local level. Retailers should remember that customers have a choice where they get their media. Electronic versions are increasingly popular whilst the free gay London press distributes more copies each week than WHSmith sell gay magazines in a month nationally.

    1. Fortunately , the majority of customers are heterosexuals and the [b]heterosexual[[/b]pound will always be stronger than the anal pound….I mean gay pound

      1. Yawn. You’re clearly as funny as you are at telling the truth – both need brains, I suppose.

  8. I often have trouble finding Attitude or GT at WH Smiths in Cardiff Train station, last time I found it it was on the top shelf next to all the xxx mags :(

    And at the WH Smiths in the Heath Hospital they often hide the magazines behind the Computer Shopper magazines right at the back of the shelf.

    On a funny note (| found it funny) Someone in the Caerphilly Website had borrowed one of the “Humour” Blue signs and placed it next to the Gay, so it said Gay Humour =]

    Not sure if its WH Smith Policy or prudish Employees…

    1. “Caerphilly Website” replace with “Caerphilly WH Smith” =^_^=

    2. Carwyn..just get a subscription online? Get it delivered – much easier.

  9. So the manager says that the magazines were covered as these are popular titles among thieves.

    Perhaps the manager can explain to me how putting a plastic cover over the magazine will prevent theft.

    As if someone plans to steal Attitude then a plastic cover is not going to stop them.

    Or is the manager telling barefaced lies so she can pretend she is a not a homophobe, who does not deserve to keep her job, thanks to her moronic bigotry?

    1. It’s not a cover- It’s a replacement sign. You take it to the till and get handed the magazine.

    2. Being homophobic is not illegal…

      1. Yeah, but its damn embarrassing! Imagine the shame of advertising your ignorance in public like that for all to see?

  10. Peter & Michael 5 Sep 2011, 1:45pm

    Stereotyping at it’s best don’t you think. OK to have girlie mags showing their assets but not ok to have male guyz showing a bit of bare torso. We found WH Smith homophobic in the past especially at rail stations, sometimes we have seen brown bags covering gay mags with the title written on, probably up to the manager’s attitude in certain areas of the country. We asked for a copy of Gay Times in a market town WH Smith store and were told ” that we don’t sell that sort of thing here”. If WH Smith don’t want to sell Gay Mags then tell us and we will take our custom elsewhere!

  11. W H Smiths refused in the 70s to stock Gay News on the grounds that they were a family shop – looks like they can wait to get back there.

  12. Gary Crowley 5 Sep 2011, 2:15pm

    Sent to Press Office / Customer Services and suggest everyone else does the same via link below

    http://www.whsmith.co.uk/support/HelpContactUsWHSmith.aspx

    Can you please explain why you censor Gay Magazines – such as Attitude which has no nudity, while Gay Times’ cover shows reality TV star Alex Reid topless with his arm covering most of his chest, by covering them with plastic signs/cover and yet, show a copy of Zoo magazine, which usually features naked women on the cover, next to the plastic signs completely uncensored?

    I shall not shop at WH Smith if they are now enforcing a policy of discrimination.

  13. Dan Filson 5 Sep 2011, 2:18pm

    As we all know, there are no homosexuals in Leamington Spa.

    So it is a surprise they stock these magazines at all

  14. Sainsburys on Regent Road in Salford/Manchester does it. When I asked why on twitter, this was the response

    (quote) Hi, we aim to meet the demands of a wide range of customers, so cover magazines that we feel some may find offensive (unquote).

    The next time I went back I checked to see if Nuts et al were covered up. No, just the gay magazines.

  15. I’d be blocking people from buying them aswell while they have Alex Reid on the cover.
    The man’s a fame-whore who’d sell his granny for 15 more minutes in the spotlight.

  16. on the last two occasions ive been in my local morrisons had both magazines- but hidden behind others on the top shelf. whether a customer has done this or the store i dont know…but i moved them to the front!

  17. Oh behave you lot men’s health has a bigger gay following than gay times probably does and it doesn’t stop the naked torsos. Whether or nit they sell it well if there isn’t demand it’s not a library. Some of the images are close to the oooerr bone. Perhaps you should focus your efforts mire positively and seek to get straight raz mags put in covers as personally I don’t think that or Page 3 of the sun is age appropriate either

  18. Spanner1960 6 Sep 2011, 8:04am

    Oh for God’s sakes!
    Do people not realise what this is about?
    WH Smith have put dummy versions on tjhe shelves due to shoplifting, so you have to ask for a copy.

    My question is, why are they being stolen? Answer: Because whoever wants to read them is too embarrassed to take a copy to the till to pay for it. That is the problem that needs addressing, not all this pseudo-homophobia bullsh|t.

    1. Yay at last somebody gets the theft side of things, thanks Spanner

    2. Agreed

  19. As of today, the magazines are on the shelf, same as all the others. Clearly the negative press has had an impact. What the situation will be in a few weeks remains to be seen – I wouldn’t put it past them to quietly restore the policy when the furore has died down some…

  20. - Men who engage in sodomy are 860% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD), increasing up to 500% their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Men who commit acts of sodomy with men have large numbers of anonymous partners, which can result in rapid, extensive transmission of STDs. Control of STDs is a central component of HIV infection prevention in the United States; resurgence of bacterial STDs threatens national HIV infection prevention efforts.5

  21. - Men who engage in sodomy are 860% more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD), increasing up to 500% their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Men who commit acts of sodomy with men that have large numbers of anonymous partners, which can result in rapid, extensive transmission of STDs. Control of STDs is a central component of HIV infection prevention in the United States; resurgence of bacterial STDs threatens national HIV infection prevention efforts.5

    1. is it just me or is it a bit odd that someone who clearly hates gays has to hang out chattin to gay people. get urself some like minded friends, if you can find others so sad. I’m always suspicious of someone who protests too much!

      1. No, it not just you Carter, I’d almost everyone reading these posts can see Keith for the conflicted obsessive he is. He can’t even comment on a magazine in a newsagent’s without trying to convince us with his statistics on disease, what does he think that says about him?

    2. Oh, hello Keith/Rich/Will/Adam/brainwashed lemming/other pseudonym. I see you’re still spouting your trashy arguments and trying to force people to follow your beliefs. You will not succeed. Can’t you work it out? the more you try to beat the LGBT community, the stronger we become… Pack yer cases onto the horse and set off for the sunset.

    3. Can you reference the source of your data please, I would be very keen to review it for myself in order to be able to outline the flaws in your argument suffice to say your assertions are so far from the truth it’s laughable.

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