Teenage glossies have again come under attack after being spared stricter controls on their editorial content, despite a high-profile campaign led by teachers against glamourising sexual promiscuity.
The Periodical Publishers Association (PPA), the trade body which represents the magazine industry, has amended its code of conduct without tightening guidelines covering sexual subject matter in teen mags.
A spokeswoman for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers says: “We are disappointed that the publishing industry has no intention to clean up its act at this stage. But we will continue to campaign against the sexual content in teen magazines and are hoping that Tessa Jowell will take note.”
The PPA is in the process of amending the guidelines of its Teenage Magazine Arbitration Panel (TMAP), which vets the editorial policy of teen titles. The only amendment is the extension of TMAP guidelines to include magazines where 25 per cent of the readership is made up of girls under the age of 16. Previously TMAP required magazines targeting girls under the age of 15 to adhere to its code of conduct.
The head of public and legal affairs at PPA, Clare Hoban, says: “This is designed to catch all future launches, which might increase their age profile but continue to target a high proportion of readers below the age of consent.”
Teen mag Sugar, published by Hachette Filipacchi, was recently forced to drop a sponsorship deal with condom company Durex following an outcry from family campaigners. It was the first time that a condom market leader has promoted its products in the editorial section of a teenage magazine.