We recently wrote to 7-Eleven CEO Angus McKay about the harmful sexual harassment mags sold in their stores. These magazines not only include pornographic images and descriptions they even encourage up-skirting which is a crime in Australia.
These magazines are classified as 'Unrestricted M' meaning they can be sold to anyone regardless of age. 7-Eleven is well known as a destination for kids with their popular Slurpees brand and partnerships with Krispy Kreme and Chupa Chups.
Yesterday we received a response to our letter from the 7-Eleven head and it is even more pathetic than we expected.
Dear Ms Tankard Reist
Thank you for your letter regarding the sale of Picture and People magazines in 7-Eleven stores.
As you are aware, the magazines you refer to are classified 'Unrestricted M' by Australian Classification, which is part of the Australian Government's Department of Communications and the Arts.
These magazines are sold in a wide range of outlets such as newsagencies, supermarkets and convenience stores across Australia and we understand some people may be offended by images displayed on the covers and within these magazines.
I can confirm 7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd no longer includes Picture and People magazines as part of the product range we recommend / offer to our franchisees. However, under our Franchise Agreement, individual franchisees are able to stock products beyond those recommended / supplied by 7-Eleven.
Thank you for taking the time to write to me on this matter.
CEO, 7-Eleven Stores
But hang on, there's a number of issues with the position that 7-Eleven CEO Angus McKay has taken.
- Just because Australian Classification has classified this magazine as 'Unrestricted M' and it can legally be sold to minors does not mean that the magazine is harmless. The content in these magazines is in direct conflict with 7-Eleven's values listed on their website. One of which is "We care. We value and respect our people and the relationships that define our business. We seek and value diversity in our teams and partnerships. The safety and welfare of everyone who touches our business is of the utmost importance." But the safety of women and girls is at risk due to the nature of these very magazines which 7-Eleven is profiting from.
- Just because the magazines are sold elsewhere, such as newsagents and convenience stores, does not absolve 7-Eleven of their part to play in disseminating harmful content to their consumers. In fact, children are more likely to frequent a 7-Eleven over these other outlets due to their popular Slurpee brand and sale of Krispy Kreme donuts. 7-Eleven have been intentional over the years at marketing to young consumers to ensure they have a strong customer base for the next generation.
- 7-Eleven CEO Angus McKay wrongly assumes the issue is the 'offence' with images within the magazines. The issue has nothing to do with whether a customer is or isn't offended by the images. Our feelings are irrelevant. The global research is clear on the harm done to women and girls when women are portrayed in sexually objectifying ways. A recent meta-analysis showed that "everyday exposure to this content are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity."
- 7-Eleven CEO Angus McKay states that they no longer include porn mags in their recommendations to franchisees. So they used to? Wow! That doesn't seem to line up with their values.
- 7-Eleven CEO Angus McKay then states that individual franchisees are able to stock products beyond those recommended by 7-Eleven. But franchisees are carefully selected by 7-Eleven and informed that all stock brought in outside the 7-Eleven recommendations require District Manager approval.
How are Franchisees selected?
Each prospective Franchisee will go through an approval process, which involves a series of interviews and testing. 7-Eleven is looking for the right people, so the selection process provides the opportunity for you to determine if you want to be part of 7-Eleven, and for us to ensure we are recruiting Franchisees that are the right fit for our business. Visit The Process page to find out more about the steps to become a Franchisee.
Can I source my own products to sell?
Product selection and price recommendation is conducted by the Marketing team at 7-Eleven. We do however recognise that each store may have customers with different needs, and there is the opportunity, in consultation with your District Manager, to bring in products to meet your customer’s needs.
So ultimately 7-Eleven has the final say on stock in stores. So why are they washing their hands clean of all responsibility in profiting from content that encourages the sexual harassment of women and girls? You’d think that in an era of #metoo when sexual harassment is condemned everywhere, companies like 7-Eleven Australia would think about their social responsibility to the community.
We are #NotBuyingIt
Please contact 7-Eleven and let them know you want these magazines removed from their stores and that you will boycott all 7-Eleven stores in the meantime. (Remember to be courteous in all communication)
Website (if viewing on a phone and a contact form does not appear, click 'view full site' - small writing at the bottom of the page - then once on full site click ‘Contact us’ on top right menu which will take you to the contact form.)
Message 7-Eleven on Facebook
Message 7 Eleven on Instagram
Tweet to 7-Eleven on Twitter - use the hashtag #StopSellingSexualHarassment
Call their Head Office on (03) 95410711
Write to them at 2/658 Church St, Richmond, Vic, 3121.
Leave a comment below to let us know if you receive a response.