NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Wal-Mart has pulled three magazines from its shelves following customer complaints about their racy covers and content.
The nation’s largest retailer will no longer be selling Stuff, Maxim and FHM — three magazines many pro-family groups believe border on pornography.
The decision came after “listening to our customers and associates,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Melissa Berryhill told The New York Times. “I know we’ve heard on at least one of those magazines, they weren’t pleased with the offering.”
Wal-Mart has been under pressure from Christian groups to remove the magazines, the newspaper reported. The Timothy Plan, a pro-family mutual funds management firm, has been pressuring Wal-Mart either to remove Cosmopolitan magazines from check-out lanes or “cover” the often racy covers. Its president, Arthur Ally, said magazines like Stuff, Maxim and FHM can serve as a portal to other forms of pornography..
“It is soft-score pornography,” he told The Times. “It’s very addictive and leads to harder stuff.”
Dennis Publishing USA owns Maxim and Stuff.
“Like a lot of categories of magazines, we have our ups and downs with Wal-Mart depending on what is in the issue,” Stephen Convin, president of Dennis Publishing USA, told The Times.
“I don’t think that these decisions are often rational; they are subjective,” he said. “For any men’s magazine to put a woman on the cover seems a bit troubling to them.”
Magazine experts say Wal-Mart carries much clout.
“They are extremely important,” Dan Capell of Capell’s Circulation Report, a newsletter about magazine circulation, told The Times. “They are the largest retailers of magazines and probably the fastest growing.”
Wal-Mart also does not sell CDs that carry labels warning of explicit lyrics, The Times reported. Instead, Wal-Mart sells sanitized versions of CDs, with some of them having songs omitted. It already requires proof of age identification for those purchasing video games labeled for mature audiences.