Sunday 14 February 2010

'Government to ban sex ads in newspapers'

Advertisements for massage parlours and escort agencies are to be banned in a government assault on the sex industry, according to the Sunday Times.
Ministers plan to “disrupt” the sex industry by banning newspaper advertisements for prostitutes and brothels in a new law put forward in Labour’s election manifesto. Failure to comply with the law could carry a £10,000 fine.
The Sunday Times says: "Ministers are concerned that many of the ads offer women who are the victims of trafficking and have been forced into prostitution. The clampdown is being led by Vera Baird, the solicitor-general, and Harriet Harman, the equality minister, who has said that the demand for trafficked women must be stemmed to stop “teenage girls being bought and sold by criminal gangs”.
"They are concerned that a request to remove the adverts has had only partial success. Although The Newspaper Society succeeded in persuading some newspaper groups to stop carrying them, ministers are concerned that many others have failed to do so."
  • A House of Commons committee looking at sex trafficking last year was told that a vountary  ban on sex ads imposed by Newsquest on its local papers in  July 2008 had cost it over £200,000 in one region alone.The Home Affairs Committe report on Human Trafficking in the UKrevealed: "A few weeks before it was scheduled to appear before us, Newsquest decided to stop taking classified advertisements for 'adult' services, which, we were told, had resulted in a substantial loss of income -between £200,000 and £250,000 for the Hampshire region alone." The committee said: "We welcome Newquest's decision; and urge other local newspapers to follow that lead."
  • An ex-regional editor told me the fact that newspaper receptions taking classifieds know that hookers are placing quasi-sex ads makes it wrong. He said: "They spot 'em a mile off, appearance being one hint and the grubby tenners paying for £70 classifieds in cash the other."

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