UPDATED | Magazine distributors join ban on controversial fashion magazine cover

Miller Distributors acknowledge "mistaken" decision not to import provocative edition of Dazed & Confused Magazine.

Blow-up for safe sex: rapper Azealia Banks fell short of the standards of Dazed and Confused's Maltese distributor.
Blow-up for safe sex: rapper Azealia Banks fell short of the standards of Dazed and Confused's Maltese distributor.

Updated with comment from Miller Distributors, distributors for Dazed & Confused.

Condom as cigar - Banks says contraceptives are must-have accessories.

The island's major news and magazine print distributors said a decision not to import the latest edition of bold pop culture magazine Dazed & Confused, over its in-your-face cover in which Harlem songstress Azealia Banks is pretend-smoking a condom, was a mistake.

A representative of Miller Distributors' newspaper and magazine distribution - which also distributes such adult titles such as Playboy and Perfect 10, and lad magazines like FHM and Nuts - confirmed that the company had refused to import the magazine's September edition due to its front cover.

The story garnered some traction on social networking sites, with many describing the decision as hypocritical, owing to the fact that the distributor appears to have no qualms in stocking other racy magazines.

A few hours after the story broke, a Miller representative replied to our request for comment via email, explaining that the situation had more to do with distribution rates rather than overt acts of censorship.

LISTEN: The Dazed and Confused editorial team discuss the controversial cover on the magazine's online radio programme.

"When we were approached by the publisher's distributor, we were told that various countries would not be handling this due to a 'sensitive' cover and ideally given the logistics and production costs, it was solicited that in case of any doubt of offence that issue would not be put on sale in such countries," the representative said.

"With hindsight we were mistaken and should have distributed this tiny circulation magazine as usual. We apologise for any inconvenience caused as it is company policy to encourage freedom of expression in all the printed matter we handle."

Miller Distributors retain their right as a commercial firm not to import the magazine, which it said has only a minor circulation of four copies in Malta.

The issue has now been banned in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Switzerland, India and potentially Thailand, a fact the publication relished in when it tweeted the following statement: "Just been told our upcoming @AZEALIABANKS cover has been banned from 7 countries so far. Thank God for the Internet, huh?"

The Banks cover - 'Azealia Banks Blows Up' - goes on to say that the rapper's rubber accessory is one of this season's "must-haves" as part of a safe-sex message to readers.

According to the Evening Standard, Dazed & Confused editor Rod Stanley said he knew the cover would make headlines. "Azealia liked it, and we thought it would be fun and suited her because she's a strong, provocative character. I knew this cover would be talked about, but didn't expect a confident, young woman posing with an inflated condom to cause this much fuss.

"It's funny that in a world where extreme images are so accessible, someone posing with something that is used for safe sex is what we get worked up about."

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fit 21012 nitkazzaw b condom! u irridu ndahhlu sex education hux hekk! mela lista tal estremenisti maltin. Protesti ta topless!! kontra l bar s li xi mxennaq jhallas 70 ewro biex jara wahda bhal ma jkun hemm mijiet fejn il bahar!! MP jitkazza li fil hotels thallas biex tara porn meta fuq l internet huma b xejn!! u issa nitkazzaw b condom u ngerrgru li hawn xeba single mothers.. ma nistax nifhem
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A bunch of dojoq us maltese
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Tal-Miller condom rosa qed idejjaqhom. Jew iridhu jaghmlu xi nara free advertising fuq din l-issue biex imbaghad idallu l-magazine u jbieghu kemm alla halaq. Qum minn hemm Gahan Malti.
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Adrian Busuttil
It's fashionable these days amongst the Maltese so-called glitterati to join the Moral Police and tell us lesser mortals what we can and cannot read, see and do. Sadly I can not tell these hypocrites what I think of their actions on the pages of your organ; suffice to say that I shall never purchase a single product imported by these buffoons. Ever again. Amen.
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Adrian Busuttil
It's fashionable these days amongst the Maltese so-called glitterati to join the Moral Police and tell us lesser mortals what we can and cannot read, see and do. Sadly I can not tell these hypocrites what I think of their actions on the pages of your organ; suffice to say that I shall never purchase a single product imported by these buffoons. Ever again. Amen.
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What are they playing at? The Domenico Savios of Maltese companies? How do they reconcile this role with the close-ups of naked breasts they nonchalantly expose in the display window of their outlet 'Till Late', on the Gozo ferry? For the past month those front covers (pun not intended) have been placed at toddler height.
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I stopped buying "Miller products" a LONG time ago. Don't need 'em when one has the 'net.
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Shame on you Miller!
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What total hypocrisy from the distributor of Playboy magazine. Suppose after divorce and IVF it will be the condom wars... Hope the publisher finds someone else who will stick to their obligations to distribute, and not try to be a nanny to the country...
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The reasons for boycotting Miller/Agenda bookshops just keep adding up. Their total disinterest and nonchalance with respect to Maltese publications contrasts strikingly with their policing of what customers may or may not choose to read in other languages. How long has it been since George Michael's song "I want your sex" was banned from Maltese radio? A good 20 years or so?
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The reasons for boycotting Miller/Agenda bookshops just keep adding up. Their total disinterest and nonchalance with respect to Maltese publications contrasts strikingly with their policing of what customers may or may not choose to read in other languages. How long has it been since George Michael's song "I want your sex" was banned from Maltese radio? A good 20 years or so?
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The reasons for boycotting Miller/Agenda bookshops just keep adding up. Their total disinterest and nonchalance with respect to Maltese publications contrasts strikingly with their policing of what customers may or may not choose to read in other languages. How long has it been since George Michael's song "I want your sex" was banned from Maltese radio? A good 20 years or so?
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Eeeeek it's a condom! I shall have to wash my eyes out! I will be psychologically scarred for life.
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As always we tend to blow stupid things out of proportion and let other much more important thing go by !!! Yep Malta is full of blown rubber !!!