2pm UPDATE: scroll to bottom of article for latest development. Local hacks clearly pay attention to Inside Croydon.
Well, the gloves are well and truly off in the lightweight clash between the Croydon Sadvertiser and the Croydon Guardian, the borough’s two free newspapers.
Today, the Croydon Guardian fired off both barrels at its rival with no fewer than five articles about prostitution, sex trafficking, and the way that some local newspapers manage to profit from these illegal activities (£44 million a year in the UK, according to the holier-than-thou Guardian, which doesn’t carry such ads).
Of course, the Guardian is following up on Inside Croydon‘s coverage of the Brothel Advertiser‘s ludicrous “expose” of a “sinister brothel”, when it was still advertising the very same brothel in its classified pages. And did so again. And again.
Might this massively embarrassing dropped bollock explain why the Sadvertiser editor was swiftly moved on to another job soon after?
Certainly, there’s a lesson there for whoever put together the reports today on the Croydon Guardian‘s web pages.
Pride before a fall, and all that. After all, it was only two years ago that the Guardian, in common with other local freebies owned by the Newsquest group, was still carrying brothel ads in its own pages.
So while the Guardian today might crow about the Advertiser‘s stupidity over its seedy ads policy, their own campaign is also entirely undermined.
By illustrating one of their online articles with a photo of one of the offending ad pages – complete with phone numbers visible on the lurid ads – they have managed to do exactly what they have criticised the Advertiser for doing.
2pm UPDATE: It’s nice when you see that your advice is being heeded.
Within about half-an-hour of this post being published – and the Guardian hacks being alerted to it because they follow us on Twitter – they removed the picture of the brothel advert pages. They’ve since replaced it with the numbers pixelated (which they could have done in the first place).
But if it was that obvious, it begs the question how they came to post the unaltered pic in the first place.