Govt rebuffs AA idea to stop illicit cards in telephone boxes

The Government has rebuffed an attempt by the advertising industry to tackle the problem of prostitutes’ cards being left in public telephone boxes.

The Government has rebuffed an attempt by the advertising industry

to tackle the problem of prostitutes’ cards being left in public

telephone boxes.



The Advertising Association has acted as an ’honest broker’ in talks

between the Home Office and telephone companies on legislation aimed at

stamping out the practice.



Under a deal proposed by the AA, BT and other telephone operators

offered to bar calls to the phone numbers listed on the cards if the

Government promised to make posting the cards a criminal offence.



But AA bosses fear the agreement will collapse because ministers are

refusing to legislate in the current Parliamentary session, claiming

there is no time available.



Ad industry figures are dismayed and say the Home Office could have

tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill now going through

Parliament.



’The Bill was a golden opportunity to act but it seems that it will be

missed,’ an industry source said. ’This is a big problem, notably in

adland in Soho, and we thought we had reached a compromise on how to

tackle it.’



About 13 million cards advertising male and female sexual services are

removed from 1,000 phone boxes in Central London each year, and there

are also problems in several other towns and cities.



The Home Office admits that attempts to use laws covering litter,

criminal damage and indecency have failed. In a consultation paper last

year, it proposed that leaving sexually explicit cards in phone boxes

should be punishable by a fine of up to pounds 1,000.



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).