View Full Version : Newspaper hypocrisy

Jan Klimkowski
08-18-2010, 07:19 PM
An investigative scoop for local English rag, the Croydon Advertiser:

'Sinister' brothel uncovered next to charity office

AN undercover investigation by the Advertiser has exposed a brothel which is operating in the same building as a charity for the elderly.

Posing as a customer, our reporter was offered sex with a prostitute for £50 at the seedy enterprise in London Road, West Croydon.

Next door, visitors to a branch of Age UK would have been completely unaware of what was taking place on the other side of the wall.

A businessman who works nearby asked the Advertiser to investigate the brothel after claiming that months of complaints to the authorities had gone unanswered.

Equipped with a hidden camera, our reporter called at the rundown flat, which is also yards away from a branch of the Good Samaritans, on Tuesday evening.

He was met by two men inside a dimly-lit downstairs kitchen, complete with a television capturing CCTV footage of the pavement outside the entrance.

The older of the two men asked our reporter to go upstairs and there, in front of a prostitute, he listed the services on offer and what they would cost.

He explained: "It is sex and massage for £50, yes."

When asked to be clear that he was offering sex with the girl, he replied: "Yes, certainly."

The reporter then made his excuses and left.

Before leaving London Road our reporter and photographer witnessed several men coming and going from the brothel.

The anonymous businessman who reported his concerns to the Advertiser said the brothel had been doing a "roaring trade".

He added: "It's surreal that it's nestled in between these two little charities, but it's been going on ever since I've been here.

"I've complained to Croydon Council and the police in the last six months, so they are aware of its presence, but it's still open for business and no one's done anything about shutting it down.

"It looks horrible and really sinister and you get all sorts going in – from businessmen to creepy guys who look like they haven't had a bath for a long time."

The brothel, masquerading as a massage parlour, was advertised as "Oriental Massage Croydon" through a card in the window of Eshop General Stores, in London Road.

Our reporter rang the number provided and when he asked about the services on offer was told he could have a choice of two women, with half an hour of "massage and sex" costing £50, and an hour-long session £90.

Under the Sexual Offences Act 1956, running a brothel is illegal.

Age UK declined an Advertiser request for a comment.


Jan Klimkowski
08-18-2010, 07:20 PM
Just one problem ("Sadvertiser" is the blogger's name for the Croydon Advertiser):

Brothel story has Sadvertiser caught with its pants down

Posted on August 17, 2010 by insidecroydon

Fun and games at the Croydon Sadvertiser, which despite the “silly season” for news, has nonetheless managed to have a couple of beltingly good, old-fashioned front page “splashes” in the last three weeks.

There’s a bit of a problem with last Friday’s “Sexclusive”, though.

“Sinister” brothel uncovered next to charity office runs the headline over a 400-word article that took two people to write.

Clearly, our intrepid reporters have had a bit of fun with this story, as they have gone in to the establishment of ill-repute with a hidden camera (they only share one of their pics with us, though, spoilsports!) and they even use the time honoured phrase which once helped give the News of the Screws its nickname, saying that “the reporter then made his excuses and left”.

Boiled down, this is the story: there’s a knocking shop been operating on London Road, West Croydon for some time; the police and council have done nothing about it; oh, and embarrassingly for Age UK, it’s right next door to their shop.

The “sinister” bit comes from a lengthy quote from a “local businessman” who is unnamed by the paper, but who we are told called in the story presumably out of a sense of civic duty. Either that, or the newspaper just made up the quotes.

Why do we say that? Well, if you’ve bothered to buy the paper this week, turn to page 52 of the very self-same Croydon Sadvertiser, and there’s the usual couple of columns of seedy small ads for premium 0909 chat lines, “massage services” from “discreet” “ladies” or “escorts”, in “luxury surroundings”.

There are some local newspapers that have taken a principled line and no longer carry such ads, on the grounds that they encourage the exploitation of women and may also help drive businesses built on the trafficking of young girls.

In the next door borough of Lambeth, the council there withdrew all advertising from the South London Press to protest against the paper continuing to profit from prostitution.

Tough economic times and all that, but it’s a fair guess that the Sadvertiser has made a tawdry but tidy profit from advertising Croydon’s brothels down the years. A sort of pimp at one step removed if you like.

Never once have they flinched from this apparent hypocrisy when running their latest, holier-than-thou brothel story (there’s been at least seven in the past two years) after the latest half-hearted police raid in the neighbourhood.

But it gets worse.

Because down the ad column, there’s an advert for a massage parlour, with phone number, for the very brothel featured on this week’s Sadveriser front page!

Our intrepid reporter writes disapprovingly that he got the brothel’s number from a card in a local general store. If only he read his own newspaper, he might never even have needed to leave his office.


Jan Klimkowski
08-18-2010, 07:24 PM
I know plenty of local newspaper journalists. They are routinely told, or find out in the course of their work, that they are not to investigate or expose or embarrass those who advertise in their rags.

In the Croydon Advertiser's case, it looks like the intrepid hack failed to read his own classified adverts.

Here's the official statement on this, ahem, incident from the Croydon Advertiser's owner:

We are aware of the sensitivities surrounding adult and personal services advertising. Conscious of these concerns, we take every reasonable step to ensure that the advertising we carry complies with both the letter and the spirit of the law.

No-one placing advertising of this nature is allowed to pay cash, as stipulated in the Newspaper Society guidelines. All advertisers in this category have to show proof of identity – a copy of which is retained for our records.

We apply strict guidelines to the wording that can be used and we promote the fact that we co-operate pro-actively with the police in the event that we have cause for concern.

What we choose not to do is to deny legitimate members of the community who choose to provide these services within the law, the right to advertise. This we feel is a dangerous precedent to establish and opens us up to pressure from any quarter to apply individual judgments of decency and morality

Carry on then....

Magda Hassan
08-19-2010, 12:22 AM
"I am shocked - shocked! - to find that gambling is going on in here!"
Advertising rates for sex worker services are also often higher than for other occupations. And a nice littler earner it is too for the papers.