Ministry pulled after complaints over horror shoot

Dance music magazine Ministry was pulled from the shelves after a fashion feature provoked a flood of complaints to WHSmith’s head office.

Complaints centred on a 14-page fashion shoot in the October issue which showed models covered in fake blood with pretend stab wounds and a chainsaw-wielding monster alongside details on where to buy a pink fluffy jumper and zip-up top.

The feature, called "Evil Shed", was supposed to be a play on the horror movie Evil Dead, but Ministry agreed to remove the offending pages from copies on sale in WHSmith stores.

Dave Fowler, Ministry of Sound’s operations director (media), said: "It was supposed to be a very camp, completely over-the-top pastiche, a very ironic piss take of a genre of films enjoyed by clubbers. I don’t think it was the readers who had a problem; it was their parents. These things are always very subjective."

WHSmith took the decision after receiving a number of complaints and a spokeswoman said: "After consulting with Ministry’s publishers we can confirm that we have taken the magazine off sale two weeks into its sale period."

The feature is believed to have caused particular concern after the death of a 14-year-old in April who fainted and died after hitting her head when shown images of mutilation and deformity in FHM.

Ministry had a circulation of 75,274 in the latest ABCs, but Fowler claimed it would not have a huge impact on sales as most copies are sold within the first two weeks.


By Ruth Addicott

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