'Lose The Lads Mags' campaigners have descended on Tesco stores across the country, urging the retailer to go further than covering up sexual images on the front of Nuts and Zoo, and ban them altogether.
Displaying nude and raunchy images on the magazine covers, even if they are under a black "modesty bag" fuels attitudes underpinning violence against women and leaves retailers facing the risk of legal action, the campaign group said.
Exposing staff and customers to such images could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment, it added.
Domestic violence charity Women's Aid and the End Violence Against Women coalition have backed the Lose the Lads' Mags campaign, while 18 lawyers specialising in equality and discrimination law have signed an open letter calling on retailers to stop selling them.
Many on social media have also been targeting the Tesco twitter account:
— Making Herstory (@MakeHerstory1) August 24, 2013ADVERTISEMENT
The Co-operative has confirmed it will no longer sell Nuts magazine from early next month after the title rejected an ultimatum to use ''modesty bags'' or be removed from shelves.
Kat Banyard, from the Lose the Lads' Mags campaign, said: "By selling lads' mags Tesco is sending out the damaging message that it's normal and acceptable to treat women like dehumanised sex objects.
"Lads' mags like Nuts and Zoo are deeply harmful, fuelling sexist behaviours and attitudes underpinning violence against women.
"Tesco would never allow 'girlie calendars' on their office walls, so why are they choosing to stock degrading, pornographic lads' mags on their shelves?
"By selling pornographic lads' mags Tesco is risking legal action, breaching its own 'no porn' policy and ignoring the calls of anti- violence against women organisations - all in order to turn a profit.
"As long as Tesco sells lads' mags like Nuts and Zoo its claims of being a responsible corporate citizen are a farce. Tesco needs to put women's safety before profit and lose the lads' mags."
UK Feminista and Object branded Tesco's decision earlier this month to restrict its sale of lads' mags to over-18s as an "inadequate half-measure".
Silvia Murray-Wakefield, acting chief executive of Object, said: "Tesco has a 'no pornography' policy that their customers support. Instead of breaching it, they should lose the harmful, discriminatory lads' mags from their stores."
Protests are due to take place outside Tesco stores across the UK including London, Northampton, Sheffield, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Glasgow and York.