Lawyers' warning to shops: take down lads' mags or face legal action

Lawyers have claimed that shops selling 'lads' mags' could face legal claims for discrimination and harassment.

The warning came from a group of equalities lawyers writing in support of a campaign to remove titles such as Nuts, Zoo and Loaded from the British high street.

In a letter published in the Guardian yesterday, the 11 lawyers wrote:

High-street retailers are exposing staff and, in some cases, customers to publications whose handling and display may breach equality legislation. Displaying lads' mags and pornographic papers in ‘mainstream shops results in the involuntary exposure of staff and, in some cases, customers to pornographic images.”

The lawyers added that exposure to “pornographic material” could lead to legal action, based on the Equalities Act 2010, in cases “where it violates the dignity of individual employees or customers, or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them”.

The letter came on the back of the launch of a campaign from pressure groups UK Feminista and Object that has called on retailers to stop stocking the magazines.

The campaign has been designed to put particularly pressure on supermarkets and major high street chains such as WHSmith. 

Meanwhile, a petition urging The Sun to stop carrying topless photos on page three has attracted more than 100,000 signatures.

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