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Really rubbish response from Shell following my complaint about displays of The Sport

(16 Posts)
JessinAvalon Thu 09-Dec-10 17:52:05

Hi all
I visited a Shell petrol station last week and saw that The Sport was displayed at toddler eye level. The manager wasn't there at the time so I e-mailed the company when I got home to ask that they move these newspapers as well as their copies of Nuts/Zoo/FHM etc (or at least cover them up like Sainsbury's etc do).

I got this response today, which is just rubbish. I have replied saying that sometimes parents do want to take their children into the petrol station, that I find these publications offensive and don't wish to view them, and that it's not a big ask to move a few newspapers.

I won't be visiting a Shell petrol station again until they decide to change their policy on newspaper/lads mags display.

To me, it prioritises the customers of these publications over the customers who don't wish to view them.

Pretty poor, in my view!

The e-mail address is as follows, if you wish to tell them how rubbish their response is!

"As a business Shell follow the voluntary code of practice as outlined by the PPA & Home Office for internal fixtures. All planograms for the Magazine units position the lad's magazines out of the eye line
and the reach from young children and is positioned well above children's comics.

In terms of the external newspaper unit, Shell deems the forecourt to be an area where children should not be wandering/browsing due to health and safety reasons. As such we believe it is also acceptable to display all Newspapers and certain magazines from here.

In the future Shell will continue to adhere to the voluntary PPA guidelines on internal fixtures, and also continue to use the
external display unit. If the guidelines were to change then Shell would certainly consider whether any change in policy would be appropriate.

If the publishers decided to produce some titles in a printed modesty cover then this would also be considered by Shell.

If you require any further information or assistance do not hesitate to contact our customer service centre at 08007318888.
Thank you."

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Thu 09-Dec-10 18:01:30

There are many many many reasons not to visit a Shell station, lads mags or no.

ISNT Thu 09-Dec-10 18:05:38

Interesting thanks Jess.

Of course children never look out of car windows when they are at a petrol station. I am also not keen on wandering past loads of breasts as I go to pay for my petrol.

I do think it is strange that this has become usual TBH. My grannies would have been scandalised.

HerBeatitude Thu 09-Dec-10 20:30:36


It looks as though we need to get on to the PPA, to ask them to cahnge their voluntary guidelines.

Anyone know what they are? I presume that displaying the BNP magazine would be outside their guidelines.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 09-Dec-10 20:42:57

So if children aren't allowed to accompany their parents into the shop (not 'wandering' as that email stupidly puts it) then are we supposed to leave our kids in the car? Do they have any idea what a bad idea many parents think that is? You're not meant to leave kids locked in cars alone are you? But if unlocked they may indeed 'wander' around the forecourt hmm

HerBeatitude Thu 09-Dec-10 21:30:32

Actually that choice of the word wandering is deliberately insulting and a deliberate tactic to make parents STFU. Nobody would allow their child to "wander" on a forecourt, but if you can try to imply that any parent who dares to complain about their toddler being exposed to porn by Shell, is a neglectful idiot, you can brush them off in the insulting way Shell has done here.


HerBeatitude Thu 09-Dec-10 21:32:51

And anyway, I don't want to be exposed to porn every time I buy petrol, any more than a black person wants to see a picture of a golliwog. If they are going to show pictures of women with their arses in the air, then I want pictures of men with their arses in the air as well. But they wouldn't do that, would they, because it would make their male customers feel uncomfortable.

JessinAvalon Thu 09-Dec-10 22:21:02

Absolutely! It's such a useless response.

It does really make me angry that the rights of men to look and buy these crappy Tommy Tank mags are placed over the rights of women and children (and men who don't want to see women degraded) to not see these images.

Sainsbury's and Morrisons listened to customer complaints and did something about it.

Tesco, Shell and WH Smith's won't. They just tell people to sod off when they complain. I won't visit these stores now (unless it is a special trip in to put Men's Health over the Tommy Tank mags).

The PPA guidelines, if they are the ones I am thinking of, just say vague things like 'be mindful that some of these newspapers/magazines may cause offence'. Be mindful - but don't do anything about it!

Thanks for the further info, Tondelayo. As you say, yet another reason to visit. I was aware that Shell doesn't have a great record so I usually avoid it but didn't have much of a choice last week, hence the visit when I came face to face (or should that be 'face to arse') with the cover of the Sport featuring a barely legal girl.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 09-Dec-10 23:33:20

I don't usually use such terms in my post, but in this context I have to say that 'wankers' seems entirely appropriate.
They're the only people who want this rubbish.

AppleTreeWick Fri 10-Dec-10 09:50:21

Just googled PPA: From PPA Guidance web ed. I think you could notify Shell that they are in breach of PPA guidance tbh.

"These titles are not ‘Top Shelf’ titles; however we do urge retailers to be sensitive to the concerns of consumers, particularly in relation to the display of titles with front covers and/or content that may be inappropriate to display at a young person’s eye-level or below.
To minimise complaints from consumers, without adversely affecting the sale of these titles, we recommend…
• …That you do not display them at children’s eye-level or below, to ensure they are not in the direct sight and reach of children
• …That you do not display them adjacent to your display of children’s titles and comics
• …That where display space restraints preclude the above, that titles with front covers that may cause concern are part-overlapped with other titles so as to minimise the potential for offence to parents with children.

On the forecourt at ground level contravenes the guidance by my reading as it is at eye level in direct sight. Unless they cover them partially with other publications.
Apols for long post. Will wander round the PPA website a bit more and look for leverage on the policy.

AppleTreeWick Fri 10-Dec-10 09:52:02

And also ... I don't want to see it either but the guidance doesn't cover meeeee!

JessinAvalon Sat 11-Dec-10 01:04:39

Thanks AppleTreeWick I'll forward that on to Shell. Although I'll think they'll probably do the classic response of ignoring this particular complaint. I have copied my emails to Object & to the Front Page Campaign too so hopefully they will pick it up. WHSmith just stonewall complaints about this subject and so do Tesco. Other stores don't find it so hard to buy a few covers!

I don't know when it became normal to see a barely legal girl's arse and crotch on the front page of newspapers but no one seems to bat an eyelid these days. Of course, as someone said above, if it was men it wouldn't happen.

tabouleh Tue 14-Dec-10 19:41:23

Bumping and linking. grin

MN have taken this on as their next campaign!

whomovedmychocolate Tue 14-Dec-10 19:46:21

I feel the solution here may well be to print out some A4 sheets with 'THIS SHOP SHOWS PORN TO CHILDREN' written on in large script and just pop them in the display cabinet every single time anyone sees them on display.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 14-Dec-10 19:46:40

In front of the covers obv.

anastaisia Tue 14-Dec-10 20:51:09


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