Views & Reviews No Holds Barred

Why the Sun’s breast check campaign may actually harm women

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2447 (Published 01 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2447
  1. Margaret McCartney, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. margaret@margaretmccartney.com

It’s “Page 3 v breast cancer,” sang the Sun’s front page, accompanied by a young woman naked apart from knickers, hand on mammary, to launch its “check ’em Tuesday” campaign.

The newspaper, keen to shift attention from widespread calls for it to scrap topless women on Page 3, will include a weekly call for women to examine their breasts and asks readers to send in photos to prove compliance. Readers can sign up for a text message reminder.

By page 3, though, the regular spot for the topless female, one of the cover model’s nipples had slipped out. Yes, it’s the same Sun, and even the founder of the campaign No More Page 3 has said that “it would be churlish to wish the campaign anything other than success.” …

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