'Lads' Magazine Nuts to Stop Publishing

Rhett Pardon

LONDON — Nuts, the weekly "lads" mag in the U.K., is finally saying "nuts."

Unable to shake up a circulation that was spiraling down by about 80 percent last year from its peak in 2005, management says it is closing shop.

Earlier this month, the 25 staff who work on the Nuts magazine and Nuts.co.uk website were warned about the closure, which will take place at the end of the month.

Nuts launched in January 2004, and at the height of its popularity had an average weekly circulation of more than 300,000.

Last year, however, circulation hovered about 53,000 in print and 9,000 in digital editions, according to stats in the second half of 2013.

Zoo, another lads mag that started up just after the launch of Nuts, also has seen circulation slowing. In the second half of 2013, Zoo's circulation was less than 30,000.

The slip in circulation largely is attributable to the escalating amount of adult entertainment that is available online.

But it also is attributable to pressure from groups like UK Feminista and European Women's Lobby, which launched a "Lose the Lads' Mags" campaign last year.

The groups called for supermarkets across the U.K. to stop selling magazines that they argue perpetuate the objectification of women. 

Tesco responded to the campaign by creating restrictions on how the titles were sold and displayed.

The Co-operative Group eventually pulled Nuts and Zoo from store shelves in September after the publishers refused to comply with requirements to cover offending magazines with polybags.

"After 10 years at the top of its market, we have taken the difficult decision to propose the closure of Nuts and exit the young men's lifestyle sector," Nuts executive Paul Williams said in a statement.