The cover for the Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit issue this year made news globally. Even cover model Hannah Davis expressed shock at the remarkably revealing result.
Not surprisingly the cover drew fire from conservative moms who would rather not have their children confronted with the image at the local check out line, where the issue is sold in abundance. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation issued a complaint to many stores, including Safeway.
National Center Executive Director Dawn Hawkins said her group was trying to get retail stores to wrap the cover and move it from high-traffic areas. The National Center sent a petition with 31,000 signatures.
At first, Safeway demurred. On February 10, Safeway responded to the complaint, “While we respect all of our customers’ points of view, we would rather not be in a position of trying to determine or dictate what constitutes the mainstream of contemporary readers’ tastes.” Two weeks later they wrote, “The company that supplies magazines and manages the displays was instructed to place the issue away from the check stand area. We have followed up with that company to ensure appropriate placement of the issue in the periodical area and in its own shipping display, which covers the bottom two thirds of the magazine.”
The National Center is still after Barnes and Noble and Walgreens.