Cosmopolitan heiress' campaign to censor its racy content persuades more than 10,000 shops to conceal magazine cover

More than 10,000 American shops have concealed the cover of Cosmopolitan after a campaign led by the magazine’s heiress.

Victoria Hearst, who earns millions in dividends from the magazine’s owner Hearst Corporation, is on a crusade to cover up Cosmopolitan’s covers because she thinks they are “pornographic”. She’s working alongside the American National Centre on Sexual Exploitation to persuade shops across the country to shield the covers in order to prevent children from viewing the racy covers and headlines. The campaign has succeeded in convincing more than 10,000 stores in the US to shield the raunchy covers.

While she has no role in running the business her grandfather – William Randolph Hearst - founded in 1887, she has emerged in recent times as a detractor of one of its flaghsip titles. Earlier this week, she stepped up this rhetoric when she said: “God told me to work to get Cosmo out of the hands of children, so that’s what I am doing. It was his still, small voice in my heart and soul.”

Walmart revealed yesterday (7 August) that it will only sell the magazine inside a paper cover that displayed only the title and part of the cover model. Cover lines on the latest issue in the US include: “The sex move he will worship you for, “5 minutes to crazy sexy hair” and “Fair your best in a bikini”.

Cosmopolitan’s US editor Joanna Coles has branded the campaign “sexist” because it ignores the similar covers on men’s magazines such as GQ. “We’re not just about sex,” she added. “We’re about empowering women in all aspects of their lives”.

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