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Has TEARAWAY Magazine gone ‘too far’?

Has TEARAWAY Magazine gone ‘too far’? How come some McDonald’s Restaurants are banning the April edition?

In a press release to the media yesterday Liam Jeory, the Director of Corporate Relations of McDonald’s Restaurants, said ‘some restaurants’ were banning the edition because of its ‘sexuality’ content, and because there was a competition giving away condoms and lubricants.

The facts:

The article was not about sexuality – but about gay youth in New Zealand. By making a link between the article on gay youth and the Durex competition but pointedly avoiding the words “gay youth”, McDonald’s give a misleading slant to the published material, implying that it is all about sex. But actual sex has little to do with the article at all. It features interviews with a young man and woman, who talk openly about the process of “coming out”. It also features an interview with a parent, who describes how she supported her gay daughter.

The focus was on their coming to terms with their identity – sexuality was a very minor part

The competition involved one prize pack – certainly not wholesale condom availability

Far more explicit material about heterosexual sex issues has been run in McDonald’s-distributed holiday editions of TEARAWAY in the past, without complaint. For example, a previous holiday issue also featured condoms – where to get them for free, how to use them properly, plus other sex and contraception advice ("my boyfriend withdraws before he climaxes, so I know I won't get pregnant."). This was a one and a half page article, headed: "people often say that they feel mixed up about things to do with sex because they get so many different messages from different places. Here is some info that may help you."

TEARAWAY Magazine takes exception to McDonald’s unprecedented decision to ban TEARAWAY and what is obviously a very carefully-worded press release from Liam Jeory, the Director of Corporate Relations of McDonald’s Restaurants.

McDonald’s advocate being a ‘family values’ restaurant. Are gay youth not part of families?

Background info: TEARAWAY Magazine is NZ’s biggest and most widely read youth publication. Targeted at 13-19 yea-olds, it has a monthly circulation of 64,000 and a readership of 257,000. It is hugely respected not just by youth, but teachers, health workers and parents.

We talk about speaking to the Head and and Heart, not just the Hormones. We aim to take youth seriously – providing them with inspiration and guidance through an entertainment medium.

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