Thursday, December 28, 2006

Crawley News Update

After last month's RMF exposé on the double-standards of the Crawley News, it seems that the paper has taken some action.

Firstly, after Skuds linked to the article here, he received an email which seemed to suggest that it was the News' duty to publish the story because otherwise they'd be accused of burying it to placate advertisers. Personally, I'd think it a better idea to refuse the advertising to avoid accusations of hypocrisy, but hey?

Now, after becoming an avid reader of the back pages of the News' classifieds, section, I've noticed this disclaimer appearing above the 'Adult' ads this week:

Notice to Readers
East Surrey and Sussex Newspapers advise readers that the content of the advertisements in this section relate to products and services of an adult nature. We accept these for publication in accordance with guidelines issued by the Newspaper Society and the Advertising Standards Authority, together with our own policies and procedures. If you have any concerns or comments about the nature of the material in this section, or complaints about specific advertisements, please contact Jo Mockford

Well. That's us told! The adverts have also changed slightly, perhaps because they've been rejected or simply that the payment for them has ceased. Certainly the one for 'The Honeypot' has gone. The one looking for 'Glamorous ladies' has also gone.

But the kicker is this: Scattered throughout the classifieds are little boxes which advertise the - News classifieds itself, either in general terms or for specific services. Most are for recruitment. And the little box in the 'Adult' section is no different. 'Do you have difficulty finding staff? Call our dedicated Recruitment Team'.

Now why would they put that in the section dedicated to Adult Chat lines, Escort Agencies or 'Massage' services?


Admin said...

I worked for a large British multi-national company in the 80s. It had a large branch in South Africa which many of us were not happy about. I can remember telling the director of the International division about the moral objections to it. Practically, there were a few of us who refused to travel there, although we went everywhere else in the world.

The overall effect was that nothing changed. The SA accounts were done on old systems since none of us qualified to install or train users on the new systems would go there, but the business kept going.

I think the writing side of the papers are in a similar position.

There is something wrong with a publication carrying adverts to promote something which the front page denounces, but I think that the only pressure the commercial side would take any notice of would be from readers or from other advertisers - certainly not from reporters or even editors.

In the meantime, even though its a bit of a storm in a teacup, there do seem to be sufficient disgusted-of-Crawleys to indicate a level of public interest.

It would be fun if the News put a little full disclosure notice at the end of the stories though...

"Readers should note that this brothel recruited its staff through our classified pages and advertised its services there"

...something like that :)

Danivon said...

Oh, that did raise a chuckle.

Well, if all those people who hassled me at the licensing meeting where we approved 'Pillow Talk' were to picket the News offices, they's do quite well

(they were pretty threatening for a load of old people)