Toowoomba groups join campaign for Zoo Weekly ban

Toowoomba groups support campaign calling for Coles and Woolworths to remove Zoo Weekly magazine from shelves.
Toowoomba groups support campaign calling for Coles and Woolworths to remove Zoo Weekly magazine from shelves. Contributed

THE editor of Toowoomba-based Bella Magazine has jumped on board a campaign calling for supermarket giants to remove Zoo Weekly from their shelves.

Liz Hamilton is one of more than 30,000 supporters to add her signature to the petition started by 23-year-old Laura Pintur from Melbourne.

In her letter directed at the chief executive officers of Woolworths and Coles, Ms Pintur calls for the stores to "bin Zoo magazine immediately" for "promoting rape culture and sexism."

"Coles, Woolworths: tips for coercing women into sex have no place in a 'family store' - bin Zoo magazine immediately," Ms Pintur wrote.

"I didn't realise just the harm this magazine could be doing until recently. I'd paid no attention. But when I heard Zoo was regularly promoting rape culture and sexism with phrases like "you want to pick the "loosest/skankiest" one of the lot and fetch her a drink…separate her from the flock" - I couldn't stand by and watch it promoted to kids at supermarkets.

"Domestic violence is spiralling out of control, while Zoo magazine quietly make a buck by promoting a culture of rape and violence to our kids via supermarkets."

Mrs Hamilton said Bella Magazine supported the work of Ms Pintur's organisation Collective Shout and had been working alongside other Toowoomba organisations to advocate for signatures for the petition and present the case to local supermarkets.

"Our goal is to encourage conversation and to develop greater accountability for the imagery and content in mainstream media."

She said her concern was not only for magazines like Zoo, but other women's titles like Cosmopolitan and Cleo being made available to minors under 16 years of age.

"We have a classification system for print media that is largely not enforced across Australia.

She said they had approached the manager at Woolworths Highfields who had removed the magazines from the shelves, but was unable to comment.

Woolworths has released a statement in response to the petition.

"Zoo magazine is widely available across major supermarkets, variety stores, newsagents and many other outlets. To reduce the exposure to these magazines in store it is positioned in the magazine reading centre in the aisle and always 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."

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