One of my photos

Sex sells

January 7th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 1 Comment · Life

I am writing this for the amusement of Owen; I know he has an interest in the topic and has written about it himself before now.  Its just three things I came across in the media in the last few weeks, which all seem kind of connected:

1. The Guardian, Dec 21st 2007

A story about how the South Wales Echo had a front page report on the numbers of women being trafficked to work as prostitutes in Cardiff – and then had adverts for the very same brothels in the back pages.

Harriet Harman had plenty to say about it:

Concern about this marketplace for prostitution has been growing. Yesterday, the deputy leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman, spoke out about the situation on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, suggesting that it was untenable for a newspaper to be “reporting that the police have done a raid on a local brothel, and found women trafficked and held there against their will, and yet in the classified ads of that very newspaper, in that same edition, will be an advert for that brothel. Next to the ads where it says ‘skip hire’ and ‘lost pets’, you’ll find ‘Fresh girls in every week – girls aged 18 to 24, from Africa, from south-east Asia'”. These are ads “for girls who have been trafficked into modern-day slavery, and it’s right that they shouldn’t be advertised, they shouldn’t be for sale, in local newspapers.”

There was some interesting speculation about exactly how much revenue these adverts bring in for the papers, and this paragraph was tucked away in the middle:

The Newspaper Society’s current guidelines are simply that members should not accept adverts for massage parlours if there is reason to believe that sex is going on. It also points out that while prostitution itself is not a criminal offence, brothels and other venues where sexual services are offered are illegal. New guidelines are due to be released in January, however, potentially bringing an end to the culture of small ads.

Anyone know what these ‘new guidelines’ are?  Have they been issued yet?

2. The Crawley News , Dec 28th 2007

A story similar to the one in the South Wales Echo but obviously on a smaller scale (Well this is Crawley and not a major city/port).  It is about a Polish woman who was trafficked by Albanian pimps, repeatedly raped and then forced to work in a Crawley brothel.

Maybe its not on the same scale, but it shows that sort of thing can, and does, happen here.

3. The Crawley News, Jan 2nd 2008

(But I imagine the Dec 28th edition was similar) ((The Crawley Observer carries similar adverts too))

Question 1
The Newspaper Society guidelines ((as mentioned in the ‘notice to readers’)) say that members should not accept adverts for massage parlours if there is reason to believe that sex is going on.  If there is no such reason, why are the adverts in a section called “Adult”.

Question 2
How much revenue does the paper get from such adverts?

Question 3
Is there an e-mail address for Jo Mockford?

Question 4
What the hell does “30 minutes arrival” mean ((Really.  I don’t know, and I don’t want to have to call Northern Star Escorts to find out))


One Comment so far ↓

  • Danivon

    Local (and national) newspapers will take money from almost any advertiser, regardless of the ethics, while condemning the activities of the self-same advertisers on front-page splashes.

    Both actions will result in profit, from advertising revenue, and increased circulation from sensationalist stories. Should we care if there appears to be a conflict of interests? Should we be bothered that ‘adult massage’ services are actually often brothels which house illegally shipped in women?

    Not when there’s profit to be made, I suspect.