The No More Page 3 campaign emailed those who have signed its “Dominic Mohan [The Sun’s editor]: Take The Bare Boobs Out Of The Sun #nomorepage3” petition” to confirm both supermarkets will meet with the group to allow it to present its case.
The campaign had previously asked its supporters to email and tweet all The Sun’s major advertisers to encourage them to drop advertising from the paper. Last week it also asked its supporters to avoid shopping at stores including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Argos and DfS to raise awareness about the campaign and “hurt [the retailers’] bottom line” because they choose to advertise with the title.
A Tesco spokeswoman says: “We understand the concerns expressed by No More Page 3, but we believe this is a matter for the Sun – it is not for us to comment on editorial decisions. We have offered to meet with the group to discuss this in person if that would be helpful.”
A Sun spokesperson says: “More than 7 million people read The Sun every day and almost half of those readers are women. It is the UK’s biggest selling newspaper, which proves its formula – of brilliant journalism, entertainment, outstanding sports writing and Page 3 – works well. The reason The Sun is so successful is because it has a uniquely close bond with its readers’ hopes, aspirations and interests.
“Page 3 has been an institution since 1970 and it continues to launch successful careers for women in modelling, acting and television. The Sun has always been proud of its Page 3 girls and the great work they have done over the past 42 years.”
The Sun has been running a “Page 3 Week” since Monday (5 November) in the newspaper and has been promoting its 2013 Page 3 calendar, which comes with a behind the scenes DVD.
Morrisons did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.
Asda and Sainsbury’s have not yet agreed to meet with the campaign group, but spokespeople for the supermarkets both said they believe they should offer their customers a choice on the newspapers they want to buy – even if the titles do not reflect the views of the company. They did not comment on their position on advertising with the paper.
Earlier this week the group targeted Lego by creating a pastiche of Page 3 featuring a Lego model to highlight its beliefs that a children’s toy brand should not have a commercial deal with a newspaper that it says objectifies women by publishing topless photographs.
The No More Page 3 campaign was founded in September by writer and actor Lucy Anne Holmes, who started a petition to persuade the Sun’s editor Dominic Mohan to remove topless photographs of women from the paper.
More than 50,000 people have signed the online petition to date, including high profile signatories such as pop star Eliza Doolittle, The Times columnist Caitlin Moran, comedian Jennifer Saunders and former Labour director of communications Alastair Campbell.