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Magazine frenzy as Middle America gets sweaty

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AOL has signed a deal with Time Warner to give it a day of exclusive picture access to the first swimsuit issue for Sports Illustrated for Women. This isn't the famous Sports Illustrated swimwear issue - a uniquely American male experience. No, this is swimwear "for women" - which means that stunning women of different shapes will be sporting skimpy lycra creations. AOL can expect the same type of punter that logged on and lapped up the pics for the annual swimwear issue in February. It proved rather popular with mature men. Under the deal, all of AOL's 22 million members will get a sneak peek at the cover and selected photos tonight (Tuesday) at 6pm Eastern Time. The magazine itself will be on newsstands on Thursday. We could tell you that the issue will also feature beach gear, hair care products, sunscreens and all that, but we suspect you wouldn't be interested. If you're an AOL member, then all you need is the keyword "SI for women" - if not, then you're just gonna have to wait (oh no!) for someone to pinch the pictures and post them elsewhere. Flashback The Sports Illustrated swimsuit phenomenon takes us back to those grand old days when spots and hormones raged. Of course, Argos finally decided to remove the female models from its shower unit range after it recognised that it was nothing to do with eager consumers when stores consistently ran out of copies on the day of release. School bins suffered the opposite fate. ®

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