Top German paper takes topless women off front page

BERLIN Fri Mar 9, 2012 3:11pm EST

Kai Diekmann, editor-in-chief of Bild newspaper speaks during the ''Ein Herz fuer Kinder'' (A Heart for Children) TV charity telethon in Berlin, December 17, 2011. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

Kai Diekmann, editor-in-chief of Bild newspaper speaks during the ''Ein Herz fuer Kinder'' (A Heart for Children) TV charity telethon in Berlin, December 17, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's best-selling daily has decided to remove its trademark pictures of topless women from the front page in a gesture towards complaining readers, the paper said on Friday.

Bild, which sells about 4 million copies a day, will now carry the images on page three instead, a format favored by British tabloids.

"It is perhaps a small step from a female perspective, but for Bild and all men in Germany it is a big step," Bild said in an article.

Topless women on the cover have been part of Bild's identity for 28 years. More than 5,000 have bared their breasts there since 1984, the daily said.

"I'm pleased that the pictures have finally disappeared from the front of the paper but the question is how long it will stay away. It was very degrading but we will have to wait and see whether this is permanent," said Monika Lazar, women's spokeswoman for Green party.

The decision, which was taken on International Women's Day on Thursday, is intended to make the paper more acceptable to women but without losing its character, the paper said.

"Of course Bild wants to remain sexy. But in a more modern way, and better packaged inside the paper. Just as so many women and reader panels have wanted," the paper said.

(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian)

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