22 January 2015
The Sun’s advertisers need to consider response to Page 3
The Evangelical Alliance, representing more than two million evangelical Christians, is disappointed that the Page 3 topless models have returned after a refreshing break that lasted just 72 hours and wonders whether it was just all a publicity stunt by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
Steve Clifford, general director of the Alliance, says that Rupert Murdoch needs to take firm leadership to end this old-fashioned topless parade. He's issued the following statement:
"Topless models in a family newspaper is not a good thing for society or the young, impressionable minds that are exposed to this bottom shelf newspaper.
"Of course, what newspapers publish is a matter for newspapers and editorial decisions are for editors, but when these decisions impact negatively on society then society needs to take a stand. Their editorial decisions appear to be more based on how much money they think they will make from large circulations and high advertising rates and are not in the interest of the well-being of our society. There needs to be a sensible balance between the two.
"There appears to be a vacuum of moral leadership in this company, which had been at the forefront of the hacking scandal, a focus of the Leveson Inquiry into ethics in the media, and includes content that raises eyebrows about its social responsibility. Page 3 is just another symptom and it begs for proper leadership.
"Perhaps the time has come for advertisers to reconsider their relationship with The Sun. Page 3 not only demeans women but it is the thin end of a very large billion-pound pornography industry.
"The Evangelical Alliance represents more than two million evangelical Christians across 79 denominations in 3,500 churches. We are also networked into scores more organisations. I am urging the membership of our constituency to stop buying the weekday edition of The Sun."
The topless model was absent from Page 3 for the first three days of this week. On Tuesday, its sister publication The Times reported that Rupert Murdoch had signed off a decision to quietly discontinue it. On day four the topless model returned under a headline of a "mammary lapse", and apologised on behalf of all journalists who ran the story.
The Alliance joined the No More Page 3 campaign in March 2014, rallying its individual supporters and 3,500 member churches to sign the campaign.
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Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.