CAP warns chatline ads are illegal under discrimination act

An advertising watchdog is warning magazine publishers that ’chatline’ ads which demand higher prices for male callers than women are illegal.

An advertising watchdog is warning magazine publishers that

’chatline’ ads which demand higher prices for male callers than women

are illegal.



The Committee of Advertising Practice, the body that writes the code for

the Advertising Standards Authority, is stating that ads featured in

National Magazine Company titles and Loot could contravene the Sex

Discrimination Act as they promote a service that is priced to encourage

women to call. Charges are either lower or totally free for female

callers.



Susanna Hughes, free ads manager at Loot, welcomed the intervention,

saying the issue needed clarification.



’These ads have been the industry norm for a long time but this is the

first time the issue has been challenged,’ said Hughes. ’It is a bit

like women going into clubs for free. If the Consumers Association is

picking up on it, it could change the whole sector. We will be reviewing

our policies,’ she added.



Media Business discovered discriminatory ads were still being run for

chatlines such as Speakeasy. In the Evening Standard’s Hot Tickets, for

example, ads were offering men the service at 60p a minute, while women

could call in free.



A spokesperson for CAP said the organisation wanted to highlight the

problem to the industry so it could take appropriate action. ’Some

publishers are reviewing their policies,’ he added.



It is unlikely the matter will get as far as legal action as this would

require a complainant to come forward.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).