Coles has deleted lads mag Zoo Weekly from its magazine range with lobby group Collective Shout touting the move as a win for its campaign urging the supermarket and rival Woolworths to ditch the title it claims promotes rape culture.
A Coles spokesperson confirmed the decision to stop selling the controversial Bauer Media title, stating “Coles has made the commercial decision to delete Zoo Magazine following a regular range review.”
Collective Shout’s Melinda Liszewski said the decision is “consistent” with Coles’ “statement of corporate responsibility”.
“By discontinuing Zoo they have demonstrated a commitment to a supportive environment for staff and a safer and more respectful community for staff and customers,” Liszewski told Mumbrella.
Coles did not respond to questions around if the decision to pull the magazine related to Collective Shout’s campaign or when the decision is effective from.
The supermarket’s decision to stop selling the title comes three months after publisher Bauer Media withdrew the declining magazine from the circulation audit figures following several quarters of massive declines. The last numbers available for the title, the October to December quarter, showed the magazine had a circulation of 42,122, posting consistent declines of around 30 per cent.
According to Collective Shout, which supported the Change.org petition started by 23 year-old Laura Pintur, the decision to ditch the title was due to an employee initiating a formal process for the company to take action.
The change.org petition has more than 38,000 signatures
Coles employee Shannon told the activist group the sale of Zoo Weekly “creates a hostile working environment because it condones the purchase of a magazine that eroticises female subjugation and vulnerability.”
Shannon told Collective Shout that around two months ago she began the process of “lodging a grievance” with her union the SDA and her store manager regarding the sale of Zoo in Coles.
“I was motivated to pursue this complaint because I had signed the Collective Shout petition and thought that the timing was appropriate to lodge such a grievance,” Shannon said.
“Given the impressive support base for this petition, I gained confidence with the knowledge that thousands of people were behind me and it was only a matter of time before Coles succumbed to these pressures.”
At publication the Change.org petition stood at 38,741 signatures.
Commenting on Coles’ decision to discontinue the magazine Shannon said it makes her “feel relieved” for herself and “for other young women in my workforce who no longer have to put up with selling a magazine that promotes rape culture.”
Collective Shout’s Liszewski told Mumbrella they are “now calling on Woolworths to do the right thing by women and girls and pull Zoo Weekly from shelves immediately.”
A Woolworths spokesperson told Mumbrella the title is “widely available across retailers, newsagents and many other outlets”.
However “to reduce the exposure to these magazines in our store, we have it positioned in the magazine reading centre in the aisle in the top right corner . We do not position it at the front of store or on the checkouts in recognition that some customers could be offended by the magazine’s content.”
Bauer Media declined to comment.