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Personal services ads are outlawed by media group

The Manchester Evening News, Reading Evening Post and Surrey Advertiser are ceasing publication of all health club, escort and personal services advertising from their pages from today.

The move by parent company MEN Media comes as public concern mounts over the possibility that the advertisements for such premises and services, if proven to be used for criminal activity, could be classed as profiting from the proceeds of crime.

The MEN Media portfolio includes more than 20 daily and weekly paid and free newspapers.

Managing director Mark Rix said: “We have been in contact with the police, trade bodies and a number of readers about their concerns over the nature and changes within the personal services advertisement section.

“Following on from these discussions, the editor and I decided that it would be in the best interests of our readers if we were to decline such advertising in the future.

“All of our customers in these categories have been notified about the changes which affect the Manchester Evening News, The Surrey Advertiser, the Reading Evening Post and all associated titles.”

Fears over massage parlour ads in the classifieds section of newspapers led to a Government pledge earlier this year to work in partnership with the local newspaper industry as part of a range of measures to clampdown on sex trafficking.

The move came after a meeting between the Newspaper Society, the Advertising Standards Authority and senior ministers.

The Croydon Guardian earlier vowed to investigate all complaints about its advertising for adult services in the paper. The paper had set up a campaign with local group Croydon Community Against Trafficking.

And Cardiff newspaper the South Wales Echo was accused of hypocrisy after running adverts for massage parlours that had been exposed in the front of the paper as allegedly being part of sex-trafficking industry.


paul fox (04/02/2008 21:25:34)
We’ve been doing similar in the US for a few years. However there are still many web sites that has graphic desciptiopns of service and prices, and promotes unprotected sex. – the Grandpere of reporting sites.