Perhaps oddly – it’s tempting to say perversely, but someone might take it the wrong way – the Croydon Sadvertiser‘s brothel exclusive has not made it on to their website this week.
So, as a preview of what should be in this Friday’s Sadvertiser, we bring to you a letter to the newspaper’s Editor. In the interest of openness and journalistic integrity, the letter is sure to be published by the Sadvertiser to reflect the local family newspaper’s readership’s concern with its profiting from prostitution and human trafficking. Isn’t it?
Inside Croydon was today sent a copy of the letter from Croydon Community against Trafficking. Realistically, we reckon there’s as much chance of it appearing in the newspaper as Homer Simpson joining Weight Watchers.
It is not the first time that CCAT has written to the paper – in May last year, they provided the then Editor with a detailed breakdown of local brothels massage parlours being advertised in its pages and those of its freebie stablemate, the Croydon Post.
CCAT is outraged by the stunning hypocrisy of the Croydon Sadvertiser, which is owned by Northcliffe Media, part of the Daily Mail & General Trust group, the publishers of the Daily Mail. In effect, the likes of “star” columnist Richard “You Couldn’t Make It Up” Littlejohn’s wages are being paid from the proceeds of prostitution.
CCAT’s latest research shows that Croydon’s two “family” papers have each carried an ad for the “sinister brothel” featured on the Sadvertiser‘s front page on Friday virtually every week for the past year.
Today’s CCAT letter states:
“Earlier correspondence with your newspaper drew attention to the fact that advertisements for massage parlours and other adult services appearing in your own and other local newspapers were, in fact, a cover for brothels. CCAT also met with your predecessor Ian Carter in May 2009 and provided him with a spreadsheet of all the premises advertised by the Advertiser and Post that were selling sex; we gave him details of names, addresses, nationalities of women, prices and services provided.
“It seems strange therefore, that your journalists should be so surprised to find a brothel operating on London Road. They went to the trouble of going in with a hidden camera to establish that sex was being sold there, when they need only have looked at the spreadsheet CCAT provided them with last year, since this is an establishment that the Advertiser and Post have been advertising for years. The article, printed on August 13, omits to mention this fact, as it also omits to mention that the newspaper actually carries an advert for the same brothel on page 52. On this occasion, it is called ‘Fantasy Massage’, but just a little research would have established that it is the same premises.
“CCAT is baffled by the utter hypocrisy of the Croydon Advertiser; on the one hand to have a front page article about sinister brothels in our midst, and then, on the other, to take money from the same brothel and help it to thrive, demonstrates an alarming degree of double standards from our local family newspaper.
“Research supports the fact that most men access sexual services through adverts in their local paper and adverts such as this one can only help such establishments to thrive. This fact is highlighted by the article itself, which reports its source as saying ‘the brothel had been doing a roaring trade’.
“Newspapers that carry such adverts are profiting from prostitution and from modern day slavery. Our evidence suggests it highly likely that many of the women working in establishments such as this throughout Croydon have been trafficked into this country and are forced to work as slaves. The very concept of advertising such exploitation is highly offensive, yet the Advertiser and Post continue to contribute to this trade in human life without any regard for the people whose lives are being destroyed. Newspaper publishers have a social and moral responsibility to ensure that they are not advertising these illegal services in their pages.
“The Croydon Guardian and its parent company Newsquest some time ago took the decision to stop running these adverts, as have other newspapers up and down the country; we ask you to do the honourable thing and follow suit.”
Will the Sadvertiser discover some moral fibre and publish such a letter?