Loaded off shelves after obscene advert cock-up

WH Smith withdrew Loaded

Loaded has been pulled from WH Smith after a picture of an erect penis slipped into the magazine by mistake.

Customers spotted the offending item in a tiny DVD advert in the back pages and complained to WH Smith about its explicit nature.

The problem arose when the ad arrived late and a member of Loaded’s advertising department forgot to put a large red star to cover up the article in question.

Up to 5,000 copies were recalled from WH Smith stores across the UK on Thursday last week and publisher IPC had to remove the page concerned. All amended copies were due to be back on news-stands this weekend.

A spokeswoman for WH Smith said: “We removed it from sale because we discovered the content was in violation of magazine obscenity laws and we have got our customers’ best interests at heart.”

Eric Fuller, publishing director of Loaded, said: “There has been a minor technical infringement of our normal quality control procedures.

The photograph in question is literally the size of a postage stamp.”

Despite losing nearly a week’s worth of shelf space at WH Smith, Fuller claimed the impact on sales would be marginal as independent newsagents are the largest retailer.

Tesco and Asda were looking into the matter but had not made any moves to recall copies as Press Gazette went to press.

A spokesman for Asda said: “We are fairly relaxed about it to be honest. We haven’t had any complaints so far. “

By Ruth Addicott

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