Prostitution ads: Lots of money in ’em, but for whom?

spanish-prostitution-ads

Spanish prostitution ads from a large daily paper, many offering “Greek” (anal) and “French” (oral) sex, right up front.

You know how we’re always hearing that print media are in trouble, that revenues are down, that they can’t afford quality journalism, fact-checking or even basic copy-editing anymore, yadda yadda yadda? Well, all this crying poor is downright crocodilian, considering how much ad revenue they still rake in, and how not a single newspaper magnate has actually starved to death (unlike the ink-stained wretches who work for them). These days, you’d be lucky to find a paper that isn’t totally eaten up with advertising, to the point where the ads crowd out the actual news stories. Advertising has taken over where subscriptions have left off. Stands to reason: who want to subscribe to a paper that only eats their money by the bushel and kills trees for mediocre reporting at best? One might as well start reading rolls of toilet paper for all the edification one gets. And in Spain, the ugliest side of that deplorable trend is a pornographically explicit exploitation of women, right on the pages of the most important dailies in the land:

Five of the eight national newspapers in Spain are getting rich from prostitution ads, as legislators are trying to crack down on them as illicit publicity.

The newspaper El País makes 112,000 euros a month via two pages of prostitution ads, according to the website Periodismo Digital. In particular, large ads in the paper cost 106.09 euros on weekdays, and 126.25 euros on weekends.

All parliamentary parties have agreed to modify the 1998 General Publicity Law with the objective of terming prostitution ads as “illicit publicity” and to protect minors from this type of advertising.

Illegal activities, among them prostitution, have boosted economic indices in various European lands. Thus, in 2014 alone, the United Kingdom saw a $15 million trade in drugs and prostitution, according to a report by the Centre for Economic and Business Studies.

Translation mine.

Well, at least the government is trying to do something about the problem, even if it is tackling the wrong end of the supply/demand seesaw. For those who want to cry about the “freedom of expression” of “sex workers”, be advised that it’s rare and unusual for a single independent prostitute to have enough cash lying around to cover the daily ad rates cited above. Considering that a lot of the ads in the picture tout services costing considerably less per, I think we’re looking at yet another human trafficking front. Those women would have to service a dozen men a day in order to keep their heads above water. At fifty euros a pop, that means servicing at least three johns a day just to meet the horrendous costs of their advertising, never food, housing, clothing and other basic necessities. That’s a lot of undesired sex; it’s a wonder more of them aren’t found dead from sheer exhaustion.

So it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that the ads are not for individual, independent women, but for “escort services” run by local mafias that ferry several girls to and from their calls simultaneously. It wouldn’t surprise me either to hear that those same pimps probably work those girls to death, so to speak, with as many men as call asking for them. Profiteers are funny that way.

And the newspaper owners? They’re laughing all the way to the bank, because in effect, they are pimping the pimps! 112,000 euros a month just for two measly pages of black-and-white ads? 1.34 million euros a year, just from those ads alone — and NOT counting newsstand sales to horny machos just looking for some cheap wank fodder? Cha-CHING!

And suddenly, it all becomes clear as unmuddied water why NOW Magazine, a free Toronto “alternative” paper you can pick up on virtually any street corner, is oh-so-bravely fighting for its “free-speech right” to continue carrying its tiny but plentiful (and therefore, lucrative) “business personal” ads in the back pages. After all, by doing that, they remain “independent”. They don’t need no stinkin’ subscribers. Who needs subscribers, who will only write irate letters to the editor holding one accountable for half-assed reporting, when one can finance one’s operations quite cushily on the backs of anonymous, sexually exploited women? In the end, money is money, no matter who has suffered what abuses in the making of it.

And in the case of prostitution advertising, that money adds up thick and fast. No wonder those who profit from it are so reluctant to give it up. Whatever next? Why, someone might even force those lazy pimps to do some actual journalism!

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