The journey so-called lads’ mags have taken is nothing if not interesting.
First rearing their heads in the early 1990s with Loaded magazine, they were mainly concerned with fashion and tales of derring do by members of staff on assignments.
And, most importantly, always, always, had a man on the cover.
But as the popularity grew, so did the number of publications.
And as that number grew, more and more decided a woman on the front page was a better idea – usually in a state of some undress.
Until in the end a saturated market was packed with down-market magazine.
Many are no longer publishing, but a good handful remain and prove divisive to this day.
That’s why it was no surprise to see the protesters who took to the street outside Tesco in North Harbour, Portsmouth, at the weekend.
They were calling on the store to stop selling the magazines full stop, claiming they ‘dehumanise’ women.
Whether you agree with that point of view or think ‘live and let live’, there’s certainly a talking point there.
Should children be faced with these sort of images every time they are taken shopping with their parents?
Or are they, as some commenters on The News website say, no more than you could see on a family day out to the beach in Southsea on a hot day?
Again, a matter of opinion. But like lots of things, banning is often not that way.
It can often only serve to make things more attractive and publishers will often find away round rules.
Compromise is the way forward in a case like this.
Many other major stores have already come to agreements with the producers of these lads’ mags.
Rather than a ban, they insist on opaque covers for the front pages, so only the title is visible, meaning those who want to buy them can find them and those who are offended by the pictures can’t see them.
Sounds like that might be the best way forward for Tesco in this case.