Culture

Coles Is No Longer Selling ‘Zoo Weekly’, After A Campaign Called It Out For Promoting Rape Culture

Bad news, bros.

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Bros! The dream is over. After countless controversies, ongoing protest, and an Anzac Centennary edition that will live on in your wank banks forever, Zoo Weekly‘s being pulled from shelves at Coles. In light of this grave injustice, you’ll now have to sneak across to Woolies while your mum’s loading up the shopping or, alternatively, discover that both porn and bro jokes exist on the internet.

This decision comes after one notable campaign against the magazine that’s been going on since earlier this year. Working with feminist activist group Collective Shout, 23-year-old graphic designer Laura Pintur started a Change.org petition calling on both Coles and Woolies to dump the magazine back in May.

“There’s tips to coerce girls into having sex using alcohol [and] promotions for best shot of your girlfriend’s breasts,” she wrote. “That’s what’s inside Zoo magazine — and it’s still sitting on the shelves of Woolworths as ‘family friendly’ products.”

Taking particular issue with the way the magazine speaks about women, Pintur referenced a UK study that discovered the language used by lads mags wasn’t all that different from that of convicted rapists. With this, she argued it was contributing to both sexist attitudes and a rape culture that supermarkets should not be supporting.

“Domestic violence is spiralling out of control, while Zoo magazine quietly make a buck by promoting a culture of rape and violence … It’s time for our supermarkets to stand up for the wellbeing of women and girls and against discrimination, harassment and violence.”

Since then it’s amassed more than 38,000 signatures, attracted a bunch of media attention, and rallied support under the hashtag #binzoomag.

Importantly, when confirming the decision to stop selling the magazine yesterday afternoon, a Coles spokesperson wouldn’t confirm it was a result of the campaign. “Coles has made the commercial decision to delete Zoo Magazine following a regular range review,” they told Mumbrella.

In fact, Zoo has been suffering a devastating loss in readership over the past few years. As other lads mags like Ralph and FHM Australia called it quits, Zoo‘s circulation dropped by a third; and its last quarter posted a decline of a further 30 percent. This May, the magazine’s publisher Bauer Media withdrew it from the audit figures completely.

Despite the possibility of this being a contributing factor, the change is being claimed as a win for the campaigners with many encouraging Coles to publicly take a stand on the issue.

Despite all this, a spokesperson from Woolworths has told Fairfax there are no current plans to withdraw the magazine there.

Zoo magazine is widely available across retailers, newsagents and many other outlets,” they said. “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.”

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Lest we forget.