Walmart Axes Cosmo from Checkout Stands

Cosmopolitian Magazine

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is declaring victory as Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, announces it is pulling Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout stands in about 5,000 of its stores.

The move comes after NCOSE’s ongoing efforts through The Dirty Dozen List campaign and others to get American corporations to stop selling products that it believes advances sexual promiscuity.

“This is what real change looks like in our #MeToo culture, and NCOSE is proud to work with a major corporation like Walmart to combat sexually exploitative influences in our society,” Dawn Hawkins, NCOSE’s executive director said in response to Walmart’s decision. “Women, men, and children are bombarded daily with sexually objectifying and explicit materials, not only online, but in the checkout line at the store.”

The April issue of Cosmo, for example, features salacious headlines, including “Sizzling Foreplay Techniques” and “Warm Toys For Your Hot Spots.” The January issue featured activist and musician Pink on the cover with the headline “Sex That Rocks: Take Cosmo’s Hottest Positions for a Spin: You’ll Hit All Your Pleasure Zones.”

Walmart’s move comes after it already reacted to NCOSE and consumers’ concerns by putting a blind over Cosmo to prevent young eyes from seeing the cover during checkout.

Breitbart News reported in 2015 that Victoria Hearst, granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, the founder of the Hearst Corporation, which publishes Cosmo, joined NCOSE to launch Cosmo Harms Minors campaign to push for covers over the magazine at checkout stands.

“Cosmo is anti-God, anti-Christian, anti-marriage, and promotes a deviant lifestyle centered on sex,” Hearst said. “It promotes promiscuity – with its risks of getting STDs, being raped or murdered, and its promise of emotional and psychological damage, including suicide.”

Breitbart News also published a piece about Cosmo, written by Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, about the threat its sexual content poses to young people:

Children and adolescents exposed to media with sexual content engage in sexual activity at younger ages and with greater numbers of partners, thereby placing themselves at great risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and suffering significant harm. Cosmopolitan magazine glamorizes sexual promiscuity in every issue and promotes sexual behavior that can lead to deadly consequences for young people.

USA Today reported on Walmart’s and Cosmo’s statements on the development:

In a statement shared with USA TODAY, Walmart spokesperson Meggan Kring said: “As with all products in our store, we continue to evaluate our assortment and make changes. Walmart will continue to offer Cosmopolitan to customers that wish to purchase the magazine, but it will no longer be located in the checkout aisles. While this was primarily a business decision, the concerns raised were heard.”

A Cosmopolitan spokesperson told the Associated Press Wednesday that the magazine is “proud of all that the brand has achieved for women around the world.”

NCOSE’s website explains that its campaigns against sexual exploitation are directed by Americans who are concerned that corporations are not acting in the best interest of young people by exposing them to highly sexualized content.

Each year, NCOSE releases The Dozen Dirty List, which explicitly details how major American companies are selling sex at various venues, including online. This year’s list includes Amazon,, Comcast, EBSCO, HBO, iBooks, Poster Boys, ROKU, Snapchat, Stream, Twitter, and YouTube.

According to its website, Hearst Corporation states about the magazine: “Cosmopolitan is the best-selling young women’s magazine in the U.S., a bible for fun, fearless females that reaches more than 18 million readers a month.”

The NCOSE website doesn’t pull any punches in its description of Cosmo.

“Cosmopolitan Magazine is a porn magazine, glamorizing things like public, anal, group, or violent sex in nearly all of their issues,” NCOSE’s website said when it named the magazine in its 2015 Dirty Dozen List.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.


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