Blog sparks debate on sex ad ban in regional press
Interesting reaction to Steve Dyson's blog yesterday calling for the regional press to stop taking sex adverts, which typically promote massage parlours and escort services but are often fronts for brothels. According to postings on the blog, hosted by HoldtheFrontPage, the Kent Messenger Group has joined Newsquest by refusing to take sex ads. Denise Eaton posts: "The KM Group does not permit such personal services ads in any of its titles. Recently many titles, including The Gravesend & Dartford Messenger Series, actively campaigned against them. It took our reporter less than five minutes to uncover eight brothels masquerading as 'massage parlours' in a rival publication. We uncovered evidence of exploitation and human trafficking, but it seems even that's not enough to jolt the moral conscience of those who continue to publish such ads." Archant is criticised for allowing the Ipswich Star to take sex ads while running its 'Somebody's Daughter' campaign following the prostitute murders in the town in 2007. suffolkhack posts: "Most of the prostitutes killed by Steve Wright started off working in Ipswich massage parlours, before being forced to leave and work on the streets either because their drug habits made them unemployable or they needed more money to support their habits by working for themselves. It is possible that some of these girls might be alive today if it were not for these parlour brothels giving them the opportunity to start in the sex trade. Yet these same brothels have been supported for years by the Star and its sister paper, the East Anglian Daily Times, providing them with advertising space." Watchin' suggests: "Maybe the new President of the Newspaper Society, Georgina Harvey, a woman, will back Dyson's campaign to end the press's part in exploiting women? As she's MD of Trinity Mirror Regionals, she could start with banning the ads in her own back yard."
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