Last week I walked into three separate 7Eleven stores and was surprised to see Penthouse and other adult magazines on the bottom rack of the magazine stand. I wrote the following letter to the chairman of 7Eleven Australia, Russell Withers.

 

 

 

Dear Mr Withers,

A couple of weeks ago I wandered into one of your 7Eleven stores in the Sydney CBD. I was surprised to see Penthouse magazine and other such titles on the bottom shelf of your magazine rack.

Did I miss something? When did these previously ‘top shelf’ magazines make the migration south?

I mentioned to the cashier that someone had made a mistake whilst arranging the magazine rack and how it would be more appropriate for these magazines to be on the higher shelves (at the very least) – he shrugged his shoulders and offered me the latest 2-for-$5 offer.

I didn’t think much more of this until this week, when I took advantage of some generously priced fuel at one of your 7Eleven branded petrol stations. As I walked into pay, again I was struck by the array of porn magazines on the bottom shelf of the magazine rack.

This has to be some kind of coincidence? Two 7Eleven branded stores, both displaying porn magazines at the eye level of the average two year old toddler.

Today I made a point of going into another 7Eleven store. Again the same arrangement.

Can you please explain to me sir, why it is that my 4 year old son can’t reach the chocolate bars, but he can grab a couple of copies of Penthouse?

What’s doing? How could it be that three out of three stores have these magazines in such an obviously inapproriate spot?

I can only assume that this arrangement is part of the Franchise System. As your website says:

To help maximise sales and profit, our team of Category Managers…provide recommended layouts tailored to your customer and store.

If this is the case, as a father of a 4 year old boy and an 18 month old girl can I ask you to – PLEASE. STOP.

It’s bad enough that as parents we need to negotiate the internet that ensures that most kids have been exposed to hard core porn well before their teen years. Or deal with TV broadcasters who advertise shows like Underbelly and Brothers in Arms (soft porn shows masquerading as ‘dramas’) in the breaks of family friendly shows such as The Voice or Masterchef.

And of course we’re used to hearing primary-school-aged kids singing along to songs with overtly sexual themes courtesy of money hungry record execs. And don’t get me started on the accompanying music clips!

I know I can’t lay all this at your door, but c’mon. Do your bit. Think of it as ticking your corporate responsibility box.

Should I really need to worry about what my kids are picking up while I’m nipping in to a 7Eleven to grab a sandwich?

To put this into context even your Krispy Kreme donuts are kept in a glass case out of their reach!

I thought about whether or not to cite the research that shows the impact exposure to porn has on kids – but surely I don’t need to do that do I? Surely common sense is enough? If you do require evidence, this site provides a good starting point as does the work by Melinda Tankard Reist. 

I know you’re busy, so I’ve taken the liberty of writing a new ‘layout recommendation’ that you can just cut & paste into your franchisee mailouts.

Dear Franchise Holder, Please put the porn away, or at the very least place it on the top shelf of your magazine rack. Kind Regards

I look forward to receiving, and publishing your response.

Kind regards,

Dan Haesler

You can read the response from 7Eleven here… needless to say this is just the start…