News Roundup: 2014-11-17

This week’s news includes;

  • Two leading supermarkets give in to pressure from campaign groups
  • Aeveral changes to the regulation of video and on demand content in the UK are set to come into force December 1st and,
  • Online retailer accused of selling “pro-rape” and “sexualised” clothing

Two leading supermarkets buckle under pressure from No More Page 3 and Child Eyes.

Tesco and Waitrose have conceded defeat and have announced that they will cover-up or remove from a ‘child’s line of vision’ tabloid newspapers.

Tesco told the BBC that their ‘news cubes’ would be redesigned so that only the mastheads would be visible to customers. While Waitrose said they would remove the tabloids from the eye level of small children.

The announcements come after months of campaigning by No More Page 3 and Child Eyes.

Tesco have claimed that they listened to both customers and campaigners (clearly only campaigners from one side of the debate) and wanted to “strike the right balance for everyone”.

Customer Experience & Insight Director Tracey Clements told the BBC:

“We are first and foremost a family retailer and it’s important we do everything we can to promote the right environment in store.”

Tesco says the changes to the display of tabloid newspapers (nothing about those celebrity mags that highlight cellulite on beach photos of celebrities though) will come into effect by the end of November, meaning newspapers will no longer be displayed vertically.

Waitrose tweeted:

“We’ve been working on this for some time and will soon be changing our newspaper fixtures so we can display some newspaper covers out of the eye line of children.”

No More Page 3 said it was “absolutely thrilled”  the group added on their blog;

“It sends a very strong message to the tabloids that Tesco don’t think their front covers are appropriate material for display in a family-friendly environment, and that can only be a good thing in the long term.”

BBFC shakeup content classification guidelines ahead of amendments to the Audio Visual Media Services regulations.

The BBFC are to update the content classification guidelines and aim to define what they will and will not allow in a video works – online or off.

A dedicated post regarding the changes will follow soon.

Naturally there are some dubious clarifications such as face sitting is not allowed about choking on a penis will be.

As always, the guidelines are open to vast interpretation and mis-interpretation by both producers and BBFC examiners themselves.

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They are essential reading for everyone involved in the production of video content, but especially for those producing adult content and more niche works such as BDSM and fetish video.

The guidelines will feed into what other regulatory bodies find acceptable such as ATVOD and OFCOM as they typically use ‘R-18 equivalent’ as the standard by which they judge.

Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) regulations are to be amended, amendments will be enforceable from December 1st 2014.

The AVMS regulations which sets out statutory and legal obligations for media distributors has been amended to cap the content that can be distributed at R-18 level.

There are those in the adult entertainment industry who believe it has always been mandatory and a legal responsibility to put R-18  content behind a credit card only or age verification enabled pay wall. It has not been. It has only been mandatory for on demand service providers as determined by ATVOD.

Those deemed to not be an ODPS, such as those who have won an appeal based on their content not being TV-like, ATVOD’s initial judging criterion, were free to continue to distribute R-18 content without such a strict paywall or verification procedure.

This law now enshrines in law, for the first time, the responsibility for any person or company with editorial control in the UK distributing R-18 content. Not just those notified with ATVOD as an ODPS.

The amendments also introduce a new level of content deemed ‘unclassifiable’.

The regulations will make it a criminal offence to not adequately restrict access to R18 content.

So while – “Big Anal Hos Volume 76″ will be heavily restricted; Saw, Hostel, American Pie, Basic Instinct etc etc… will be freely available to under 18s.

From the act;

“(2) An on-demand programme service must not contain any prohibited material.

(3) “Prohibited material” means—

(a)a video work which the video works authority has determined for the purposes of the 1984 Act not to be suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it, or

(b)material whose nature is such that it is reasonable to expect that, if the material were contained in a video work submitted to the video works authority for a classification certificate, the video works authority would determine for those purposes that the video work was not suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it.

(4) An on-demand programme service must not contain any specially restricted material unless the material is made available in a manner which secures that persons under the age of 18 will not normally see or hear it.

(5) “Specially restricted material” means—

(a)a video work in respect of which the video works authority has issued a R18 classification certificate,

(b)material whose nature is such that it is reasonable to expect that, if the material were contained in a video work submitted to the video works authority for a classification certificate, the video works authority would issue a R18 classification certificate, or

(c)other material that might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of 18.

You can read the full document here: http://legislation.data.gov.uk/cy/uksi/2014/2916/made/data.htm?wrap=true

Online retailer, CafePress, criticised for selling ‘unacceptable’ and ‘sexualised’ baby clothing.

CafePress, an online retail site, stock clothing and other merchandise that have either been customised by a previous customer or which customers can customise for themselves.

They have been criticised for selling clothing that is apparently unacceptable and calls for it to be removed .

Some of the customised clothing available online includes; a bib with “F*** like a porn star” embroidered across it and a baby blanket with “Awesome masturbating” written across it.

Australian quality campaigners appear to be leading the objections and have said that they contacted Cafe Press over a year ago regarding similar clothing.

Campaigner Caitlin Roper, of women’s rights/religious group Collective Shout, told The Independent:

“This content serves to reinforce women’s second class status, as less than men, as mere objects for men’s entertainment and gratification.”

and she continues;

“I can’t believe I even have to argue that sexualised or porn-inspired imagery and slogans on baby clothes and merchandise is unacceptable,”

also adding that Cafe Press’s “pro-rape ‘humour’ trivialises crimes of violence against women,” and reduces such an issue to just a “punch line of a joke”.

The British version of the site currently offers 132 different baby clothing products under the category of ‘Adult Sex XXX Porn’.

The Australian version of the site offers many more different t-shirts and slogans, including a babygrow with “Porn star in training” written across it.

The site had previously offered a mug and T-Shirt with “no means yes, yes means anal” transcribed in large print across it. However that product seems to have now been removed.

Roper contacted Café Press on Twitter and claims their attitude was “staggering”. Saying;

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“They suggested I redirect my energy and instead of tweeting I should fill out reports. I countered that they should exercise some corporate social responsibility and asked if they were going to pay me to do their job for them.”

The Daily Mail also picked up this story and published images of some of the ‘unacceptable’ clothing claiming them to be promoting peadophilia.

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6 thoughts on “News Roundup: 2014-11-17”

  1. On the issue of children I recall well how popular Samantha Fox was with children. She was 16 herself when she first appeared on Page 3 and never regretted it. The mainstream media were quite happy to accept she was popular with children by her appearances on popular chat shows and quiz shows e.g. Wogan and Blankety Blank and popular teen magazines e.g. Smash Hits and Just 17.

  2. The super markets covering up the papers is a bit silly and while I can accept its easier to appease customers sensitive sensibilities has anyone considered that kids simply do not care for the news much anyway.

    Either way its a good example of a knee jerk reaction to the hysterical “SAVE THE KIDS! SAVE THE KIDS!!!” brigade and all part of the arsenal the pro censorship brigade like to shoot us with

    I predict this will have a knock on effect when sales figures drop dramatically with the compulsive buyer crowd who rely on headlines to buy newspapers

    As for the BBFC and AVMS working together, I subscribe to the “if it aint broke why fix it” school of thought.

    This just confuses and messes things up even more. No one runs anything by the BBFC that needs cuts these days that doesnt use the internet so this is blatantly an attempt to get a foothold in controlling the internet…which was largely regulated by billing companies self regulating what they would allow anyway…As I said, it werent broke so didnt need fixing and what needs fixing ain’t gonna get fixed anyway given it is outside of their remit so what is the point???

    As for kids wearing inappropriate clothing then that’s down to the parents. I havent seen any parent where I live in North London guilty of this or on the beaches of here and abroad.

    A child with lipstick and lacey frilly skirts and pearl necklaces is still a child…Maybe its the perverts who need to be taught that. No where else in the wold appears to give this sort of thing the kind of coverage we have in the UK which is ironic when you consider how far up the ladder pedophilia runs in our society.

    I’d say it was more about protecting the kids from the adults and all this control will only force it underground where it is out of sight therefore out of mind. Maybe thats what all this control is about. To protect the establishment by deflecting societies illnesses on things that need to be blamed and therefore reined in

  3. I don’t think children take notice of the news but they do take notice of words and imagery. I do recall a glamour model when asked what should a parent say to a child who asks about such imagery she replied,” She had made a choice to express her sexuality”. Not sure I’d say that myself to a child but I’d say it’s a popular thing.

  4. I’m no fan of tabloids but that is ridiculous. When holidaying in Spain it is a regular occurrence to see hardcore pornography being sold in souvenir shops where the material is often held low on the shelf. Surely it can be left to parents to explain to their own children which items in a shop are intended for adults only?

    After all, alcohol is sold in supermarkets in full view of children and we don’t have a nation of drunk children wandering around supermarkets…

  5. My default attitude is anti-censorship but the Page Three thing has a distinct issue driving it other than covering up. Not all nude imagery is the same. Context is important. Page Three nudes illustrate the moral double standards of the Sun and tabloids in general. On one hand they are frequent ‘moral’ campaigners who thrive on exposing what they see as sexual depravity and clandestine sexual hypocrisy. On the other hand, the commonplace use of nudes for the entertainment of the male gaze in a ‘family’ newspaper both gives the lie to their moral stance and encourages men to carry on viewing women as objects and playthings, basically less human than them. Page three nudes are redundant, not because a nude is a bad thing, but because they’re nudes used in a destructive way.

    1. The issue I have with No More Page 3 is the way they depict The Sun newspaper. It has Page 3 and the rest of it is “men in suits” as if it’s like the Financial Times. You look at The Sun and it simply isn’t the case. You could defend Page 3 as a popular part of a popular newspapers. The Sun has other “sexualised” images of women. It has images of world famous supermodels such as Cameron Russel and Gisele Bundchen in lingerie and bikinis with the message that they are providing images to aspire to. There are also highly sexualised images of world famous pop stars such as Rhianna, Beyoncé , Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga whilst acknowledging their immense popularity amongst youngsters.

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