Aussie lads' mag Zoo Weekly has been forced to remove several pictures from its Facebook page after they
were ruled exploitative and degrading to women by the Australian advert censor.
One picture, posted in October, showed a bikini-clad woman chopped in half across her stomach, along with the caption: Left or right? The other depicted a woman's bottom with a Nintendo logo on it and the caption: What would you
call this console?
Both posts caused 'outrage' among Facebook users and online feminist websites.
The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) ruled both posts were in breach of two sections of the code of ethics relating to discrimination or vilification on the basis of gender, and of objectifying, exploiting and degrading women. It also ruled
that comments posted by Zoo's fans on the pictures were in breach of the code for using strong or obscene language .
Since July the ASB has considered the content of commercial Facebook pages, including comments from fans, to be a form of advertising and have subjected them to the Advertising Code of Ethics.
However Zoo has criticised the ASB's decision, arguing that its Facebook page is simply an extension of its printed product and therefore should be considered editorial:
To describe Zoo's Facebook page as a 'marketing communication' is to misunderstand the nature of modern media organisations and the way in which they use social media to engage with their audience.
Photos of models pictured with Buddha statues published on the Internet by a
men's magazine have caused an 'outcry' among Thai Buddhists.
Posted on Maxim magazine's Facebook page, one picture shows a lingerie-clad model posed with her hand on a statue's head and on the statue's arm. Another photo shows the topless model with her hands covering her breasts and wearing only
underpants posing among dozens of statues. A third photo shows the model Ashley Michaelsen posing for a Hometown Hotties feature seated among the statues with her legs spread.
In response to complaints, Thai Culture Ministry permanent secretary Apinan Poshyananda said he would contact the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), and, because the photos were published on the Internet, the Information Communication and
Technology Ministry. He said he would also contact the Foreign Ministry because the photos were from another country.
The various Thai agencies would then notify the magazine about their objection to the inappropriate use of a religious symbol.
Apinan said there have been many cases of Buddhist symbols being used inappropriately and that the Culture Ministry would produce a handbook in Thai and English on the use of Buddhist symbols for commercial purposes in order to prevent future
Pornchai Pinyapong, president of the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth, said he had seen the magazine photos and thought they were an insult to Buddhists. He planned to bring the issue to the Parliament's Committee on Religions, Arts and
Culture, as well as talk to the Culture Ministry and NOB. The government should push forward the draft legislation on protecting Buddhism so there would be punishments for those who mistreated religious symbols, Pornchai added.
The Women's Networking Hub's Shelve It! scheme calls on newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations to keep saucy
magazines out of the view of children -- and asks the public to help complete an online porn rating map of Birmingham.
Shelve It! gives retailers ratings from five stars, which means no magazines are on view, to XXX, meaning they can be seen and reached by kids.
It covers not just lads' mags like FHM or Zoo, but also hardcore pornography.
Campaign co-ordinator Shahida Choudhry claims the magazines have a harmful effect.
It seems that the best selling book of all times was somehow forced on people by everything in life that doesn't fit her nutter view of morality. Can't possibly be just down to people's own choice to enjoy a little sexy entertainment.
Such is the power of the media hype Fifty Shades of Grey has become an overnight hit with young women and even teenagers who are reading it quite openly with none of the embarrassment which would normally have accompanied such a book before,
even including most of the Australian women's swimming team after discovering it in a service station on their way to the Games from Manchester, presumably alongside other novels and within sight of children.
It is not just EL James and her own perverse imagination which are subverting public morals so dramatically; it is the whole of the communications industry which is driving e marketing to an audience who have become gradually desensitised over
time by films and TV programmes targeted often specifically at the 16-34 age group, and which increasingly feature sexually explicit material and bondage.
Sexually provocative music lyrics and videos by Madonna, Lady Gaga and Rihanna's S&M are popular with teens and children. Retailers of bondage gear are also making a killing it seems with reports that the book has led to a surge in the sale
of whips, handcuffs and other instruments of torture.
Literature lovers around the world have released a collective gasp, or perhaps a groan, at the news that the publishing phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey has become the bestselling book in British history.
The erotic novel has sold in excess of 5.3m copies in print and ebook, more than The Highway Code , Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, or Harry Potter
In a statement author EL James said:
My main ambition when I signed the deal with Random House was to see my books in the shops. I simply had no idea they would be so successful and this is totally unexpected. The whole process has been both extraordinary and rewarding. I couldn't
be more pleased with the sales and would like to thank everyone involved.
A TV ad, for the Sunday Sport and Midweek Sport newspapers, on 19 November 2011, started with a female
voice-over stating, The following advertisement is sponsored by Keep Britain Boring and a Union Jack and the text KEEP BRITAIN BORING featured on-screen. A male voice-over continued, It has been brought to our attention that the
all-colour Sunday Sport and the Midweek Sport are available at all good newsagents. Apparently they are packed full of stunning babes, shocking exclusives, the funniest stories and, of course, great football coverage. Outrageous! Gorgeous
glamour girls jumping out from every page, jaw-dropping photos and staggering stories to make you laugh. How dare they! Keep Britain boring! I certainly won't be buying the Sunday Sport tomorrow or the Midweek Sport on Wednesday.
The ad featured images of front covers of the Sunday Sport and the Midweek Sport newspapers. One front cover featured the headline TV SOAP BABES' TOPLESS HOLIDAY SNAPS! . Another featured the headline GIRLS, GIRLS AND MORE GIRLS .
Another front cover featured an image of a woman wearing underwear and stockings bending forward with her arms crossed under her chest and the headline IT'S AN ALL OUT PHWOAR ZONE! .
The ad also featured several brief images of women wearing only underwear or bikinis. The first image featured a woman in her underwear with her bra straps falling off her shoulders and her arms folded across her mid-riff. The second image
featured a woman in black satin underwear and suspender belt posing with her arms behind her head. The third image featured three women, all wearing underwear; one standing sideways on, one kneeling down with one hand behind her head and the
other sitting with her legs wide apart, one hand running through her hair and the other hand pulling down the top of her knickers. The fourth image featured a woman in a string bikini with wet hair standing sideways on. The fifth image featured
a woman in lace underwear, standing with her legs apart and one hand placed at the top of her knickers. The sixth image featured a woman in her underwear kneeling on a bed with her legs apart and both hands hooked around the top of her knickers.
The seventh image featured a woman in her underwear with one bra strap falling off her shoulder, her hand placed on her face with one finger in her open mouth.
The ad was cleared by Clearcast with a timing restriction such that it should not be broadcast in or adjacent to programmes commissioned for, principally directed at or likely to appeal particularly to persons below the age of 16 years. Issue
Three complainants challenged whether the ad:
was offensive; and
was inappropriate for broadcast during the day when children would be watching. BCAP Code 32.34.2 Response
1. & 2. Sunday Sport (2011) Ltd (Sunday Sport) said the ad was cleared by Clearcast with a restriction such that the ad could not be transmitted in the breaks immediately before, during or immediately after children's programmes. They said
the media schedule adhered to the restriction. They confirmed that the ad appeared on Sky Sports News only on 19 November 2011. The media brief was to deliver to Men 16--34 (Primary Audience) and Men (Secondary Audience). Sunday Sport believed
Sky Sports News was the ideal channel to deliver to this audience and provided a copy of the station's profile. Sunday Sport believed the ad reflected the content of the newspaper and was appropriate to the target audience. They did not believe
the ad was offensive or was inappropriately scheduled.
ASA Assessment: Complaints not upheld
1. Not upheld
The ASA understood that the complainants had seen the ad on Sky Sports News during the programme Gillette Soccer Saturday on Saturday 19 November 2011 at around 3pm and we understood it had not been broadcast on any other channel. We
understood that it had been targeted at a predominantly male audience and noted that the channel's audience profile indicated that 74% of its viewers were men and eight out of ten viewers were aged between 16 and 54. We noted Sunday Sport's
comment that the ad reflected the content of its newspaper. We also noted that whilst some of the images shown featured women in sexualised poses, we considered that their impact was reduced due to the brief duration of the images and the fast
cutting style of the ad. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not find it in breach.
2. Not upheld
We considered that the ad was mildly sexual in content and that some parents would consider it inappropriate for broadcast at times when children might be watching TV unaccompanied. We noted that the ad had been given an ex-kids restriction by Clearcast which we considered appropriate. We understood from audience index figures that a small proportion of viewers watching Gillette Soccer Saturday on the day in question were children under 16 years of age and therefore the ad had been broadcast in accordance with the restriction. We noted that the seven images of women in their underwear or bikinis were fleeting and stayed on-screen for less than one second each and made up a small part of the ad. We therefore concluded that the scheduling restriction applied was sufficient and the ad was not inappropriate for broadcast during the day at other times when children might be watching TV in family viewing time.
On this point, we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rule 32.3 (Scheduling) but did not find it in breach.
Winner: Madam: Prostitutes, Punters, Puppets by Becky Adams (UK)
A really funny, heart-warming book that takes you through the naive beginnings of Becky's career, and through all the subsequent highs and lows, showing her to be a lady with a strong heart and an honest willingness to learn and grow. Becky's
story is fueled by her wish to improve the lives of others; she wrote I really wanted to get the book out before the Olympics, to try and counteract some of the hysteria the Government are peddling about trafficking .
Available at UK Amazon
Smut by Alan Bennett (UK)
Alan Bennet's fictional book comprises two stories, both about very ordinary English people who, like most ordinary people, have shocking and sensual things happening behind closed doors. The characters get up to extraordinary
sexual shenanigans and it is an incredibly charged and horny read, especially considering it comes from such an established writer at the age of 77!
Available at UK Amazon
Runner Up: There Is No Word For It by Laura Bridgeman and Serge Nicholson (UK)
This is a very important, unassuming book, for it gives us insight into why some people feel they have to change gender, and how they cope with their trans journey and self, socially and sexually. It should be required reading in sex education
and for all those who still have fears, suspicions, or confusion about trans individuals. It is engaging, funny, and very moving.
Available at UK Amazon
Ian Bruce is one-part performer and one-part artist. Under the name RubiCANE, he has produced a book of pornographic drawings with accompanying prose by pornstars, playwrights and poets. It's a beautiful silk-bound art book; the drawings are all
done by Ian, based on porn images from many orientations, physical bodies, and sexy scenarios. The text is about porn, its limitations and triumphs, sex clubs, disability, and sex in society. www.rubicane.com
Runner Up: Mammoth Book of Gorgeous Guys (UK)
A triumphant small but fat book of photographs for women to ogle and treasure. Barbara Cardy has sourced a huge and sexy mix of pictures of men; some are really Renaissance kinda beautiful, some rough hard-core, some soft and submissive, from all
around the world. The book has a certain joy that we miss in much of today's erotic material. Perfect for the coffee table or the bedroom, this is a book take can be enjoyed on many levels!
Available at UK Amazon
Runner Up: Juxtapoz (USA)
Juxtapoz is America's biggest circulation art magazine, which is actually quite underground and sexy. They run a website which devotes much space to hot but not-so-explicit erotica and they also publish explicit books on erotic art featuring by
far the most exciting material from all over the world. These Erotica books are so popular that they are being regularly reprinted.
Available at UK Amazon
EL James' erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey , dubbed mummy porn by the British media, has become the country's fastest paperback to reach one million sales, trade figures showed.
The story took just 11 weeks to reach the milestone, 25 weeks faster than the previous record holder, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, according to figures from publishing tracking company Nielsen BookScan.
The book also holds the record sales for one week of 397,889 copies.
Both other titles in the trilogy are also selling well. In one week alone, the total of copies sold across the trilogy was around 856,000 copies.
According to Random House publishers, global sales for the series is in excess of 20 million, with North American sales of more than 15 million.
Helen Wright is truely gushing in her praise of creative talents of Zoo magazine:
It is not just the glamour of the photograph of Kim Kardashian on the cover of Zoo magazine's 26 May edition that draws the reader in: the expensive lacy red and black lingerie (colours woven into the rest of the cover), the artfully
pseudo-natural hair and the heavy makeup. She presents herself in a sexually provocative way: breasts thrust forward, head pointing submissively downwards, thumbs resting inside her underwear, and legs stretched apart as she kneels on what is intended to
look like bed sheets.
I'm afraid the rest of the piece is nonsense Daily Mail 'outrage' fodder though.
In a speech to the Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE) this week, Dr Helen Wright, headmistress of St Mary's Calne, a private girls boarding school in Wiltshire, will say:
It is not too strong a statement, I venture to suggest, to say that almost everything that is wrong with Western society today can be summed up in that one symbolic photo of Miss Kim Kardashian on the front of Zoo magazine.
The descent of Western civilisation can practically be read into every curve (of which, you will note, there are indeed many). Officially the hottest woman in the world? Really? Is this what we want our young people to aim for? Is this what success
should mean to them?
The New Zealand book censor has banned issue 163 of the UK magazine, Front, from sale in New Zealand claiming that it is
The censor explained:
The magazine is classified as objectionable because it tends to promote and support the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes.
The magazine is a glossy, sexually orientated British periodical targeted at young adult men. It features photo-spreads of young, scantily clad women with their buttocks and breasts visible, interspersed with interviews and satire, and sections
on drinking, fashion, consumer electronics and music. There are two pages of explicit phone sex advertisements, most of which depict young female models in sexualized poses. Many of these models present as younger teenagers or are accessorised to
look like adolescents, and the accompanying text reinforces their youthfulness with multiple references to virginity, innocence, naiveté, and being under home supervision. Statements that the girls are "18+" do little to counter the
effect. The advertisments encourage sexual interest in young persons and promote them as sexually available and appropriate objects of adult sexual fantasy.
After 28 years and 5,000 semi-clad and sometimes completely naked women, Germany's biggest-selling tabloid Bild, has announced that it was dropping its
Page One Girl.
Bild is Europe's best-selling and the world's seventh biggest newspaper. It presented the decision as a spontaneous attempt by male staff to atone for decades of embarrassing sexism, although commentators said it was more likely it was driven by
It is perhaps a small step from the viewpoint of women, the paper wrote in an editorial-style report. But it is a big step for Bild and for every man in Germany.
The paper said the decision had been made on International Women's Day, when the paper was run and edited solely by men. Three hundred female staff from secretaries to section editors were given the day off.
But the German media commentator Christian Meier said that the Bild's circulation figures have been declining for years and the paper desperately needs to attract new readers, particularly within the female market.
Men's magazine FHM pulled a magazine cover after being accused of racism.
The March edition of the Philippines FHM had featured white actress Bela Padilla posing in a pink swimsuit surrounded by dark-skinned models, accompanied by the caption stepping out of the shadows .
When the magazine uploaded a sneak preview of the cover on their Facebook page, it was recieved with criticism from readers who branded the concept racist . One reader posted: Seriously, did you guys not sense how racist this concept was?
Comments on Twitter followed including shame on FHM Philippines , and accused the magazine of being racist as well as sexist and horrendously backwards .
Bosses at FHM were quick to respond and the March edition of the magazine featured a different cover when it went on sale this week. Still Bela Padilla, but this time by herself.
And of course the 'controversy' has propelled the previously little-known actress, 'out of the shadows' and into the spotlight. She appeared on BBC News this week to defend the thought process behind the original concept. Her name also began trending
worldwide on Twitter where she has gained an army of new followers offering their support. Don't fault Bela, she just did her job, one fan Tweeted.