Bad timing. EMap, the U.K.-based publisher of FHM, is reportedly having no trouble attracting suitors for its on-the-block company — it’s the topless teens that are posing a problem. According to a report in the Media Guardian, FHM has come under fire from England’s Press Complaints Commission after the magazine published a topless photo of a 14-year-old girl without her consent.
The photograph appeared in FHM’s April 2007 issue as part of a gallery of mobile phone snapshots. FHM said it receives roughly 1,200 photos of women either topless or wearing lingerie for publication each week, adding that it was "extremely surprised" to learn that the girl was 14 "as she certainly appeared to be older." According to the commission, FHM "should have been much quicker to [recognize] the damage that publication would have caused the girl, and offered to publish an apology or take other steps to remedy the situation to the satisfaction of the complainant. Failure to respond in a swift and proportionate manner aggravated what was a significant breach of the code."
The magazine offered an apology and vowed not to republish the image.
This is not the first time the FHM brand has had trouble handling teen girls. The now-shuttered U.S. version of the magazine ran into trouble with liquor advertisers when it decided to put Brooke Hogan — the Hulkster’s underage daughter — on its November 2005 cover. That same year, New York’s Hudson News censored five consecutive months of FHM displays for what it deemed were inappropriate covers.