First draft (with thanks to Angry Mob and 5cc):
I am a writing to you as a long-term member of Virgin Active Health Clubs regarding the stocking of daily newspapers for members to read at the clubs, with particular regard to The Daily Express.
The Daily Express newspaper has a history of pushing a thinly veiled racist agenda, and in recent months I feel that this has worsened with a spate of headlines (both racist and homophobic) making ludicrous claims which many people could consider to be prejudiced and offensive. As a member of the Milton Keynes club, the impression that I get from seeing the diversity of the members on the gym floor is that Virgin Active is an inclusive brand which seems to appeal to all sections of society regardless of sex, age, race, religion, or sexuality. I feel that the presence of the Daily Express newspaper in your gyms is at odds with these values.
Overleaf I have attached eight examples of recent Daily Express headlines for your perusal.
I want you to be aware of the kind of views that this product is associated with. This newspaper unfortunately seems to be determined to pander to racists with its coverage. This isn't just a question of one or two articles, balanced as part of a lively debate; this is a pattern of offensive and unpleasant articles.
The front page stating that “ONE IN FIVE BRITONS WILL BE ETHNICS” is clearly offensive and misleading. We are all 'ethnics'. We all have a mixed heritage and to imply otherwise is to create an artificial distinction between white Britons and those from other backgrounds. Meanwhile “KEEP OUT, BRITAIN IS FULL UP” is a direct reproduction of a BNP slogan.
I respectfully request that you stop stocking the Express in your clubs, and that when choosing newspapers in which to advertise the Virgin Active brand, that you consider the values and views that you wish the Virgin Active brand to be associated with, or dissociated from. I would be pleased to see your business take the lead in this matter and show itself to be a proactive and ethical brand.