‘Washington Post’ Says Goodbye to Massage-Parlor Ads

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By: E&P Staff

The Washington Post will no longer run massage-parlor ads, according to an internal note e-mailed Tuesday to the advertising staff.

“This is to let you know that The Washington Post will no longer accept advertisements for massage parlor businesses,” read a note written by Post advertising executive Stuart C. McKeel.

Whereas in the past the Post had taken the ads if a business could offer proof of a valid business license from the jurisdiction in which they were located, “we have seen law enforcement identify a number of such businesses as being engaged in illegal activities,” McKeel wrote. “We have also been directed to postings on adult Websites from customers of these businesses that refer to illegal activities taking place at these establishments.”

“It has become clear to us that our existing standards needed to evolve,” the note added. “We have therefore decided not to accept such advertisements going forward.”

In the past, the Post has been criticized — most notably by former ombudsman Deborah Howell — by those who maintain that the massage parlors or “spas” in the ads are fronts for brothels.

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