Argentina’s President Bans Sex Ads in Newspapers

Prostitution is legal in Argentina, but after today, sex workers will no longer be able to advertise their services in Argentina’s newspapers.  President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner claimed that the decision was a “giant step forward in the defense of women,” but many expressed skepticism about this motive, given that many of Argentina’s prostitutes are male or transvestites.  The consensus seems to be that Kirchner is attacking Grupo Clarín SA, a media conglomerate which runs Argentina’s largest newspaper, as well as a television station.  The paper, Clarín, publishes about 200 sex ads daily.  The ban seems to be limited to print publications, not newspapers’ websites.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kirchner and her late husband, Nestor, who was also her predecessor as president, have been at odds with Clarín since 2008, when the media group sided with farmers in a dispute that forced the president to go back on a planned increase in agricultural taxes.  Before the falling out, Clarín had been a strong supporter of the presidency, but afterward, they began to run articles about corruption within the administration.  Kirchner retaliated with media legislation that could hurt Clarín.

In her explanation of why it was necessary to ban the ads, Kirchner alleged that the advertisements encouraged human trafficking.  In the ads, she said, “there is the sexual bidding that leaves fat profits for the journalistic businesses that do this type of thing.”  Last year, one of her cabinet ministers wrote a blistering blog post, accusing the newspaper of hypocrisy.  The practice of publishing columns which criticized sex trafficking, while benefiting from the proceeds of human trafficking through the classifieds, amounted to “double morals.”

Analysts seemed more skeptical about Clarín’s reliance on advertising for sex.  ”It’s not something that’s very important as a percentage of advertising,” explained a stock analyst in Buenos Aires.

If that estimation is true, the people who really stand to be hurt are the prostitutes themselves.  The Argentine Association of Prostitutes spoke out against the decision, saying that it was likely to do more harm than good.  Most of the ads, they alleged, represented “legitimate work such as ours.”

Other advocates decried the ban as an infringement on free speech.  Andrés D’Alessandro, executive director of the Argentine Journalism Forum, said that questions would certainly be raised about the decree’s constitutionality.  He explained that his organization had been working for some time to convince newspapers to eliminate the ads voluntarily, but that a presidential decree was an unproductive way to accomplish this goal.

In the end, it seems likely that the decree will backfire against Kirchner.  Although she attempted to bill the ban as a victory for women’s rights, it seems apparent that far from helping prostitutes, all the ban accomplishes is another strike in the war against Clarín.  If Kirchner, who is running for reelection in the fall, is trying to avoid bad publicity, this seems like the worst way to go about it.

Photo from Vincent Bugge via Wikimedia Commons.


jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Good idea!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

Well... she's right, double morals indeed!

Frank S.
5 years ago

Sorry, my post got cut off. Here are the sources to my post. Like I said, just the tip of the iceberg,evil knows no bounds!

The Sex trade Kills! Why should we allow them to kill more precious human beings through advertising?

Oral sex is leading cause of increasing U.S. cancer rates, compared to tobacco use in other nations
Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1 in 4 teen girls have STD
Updated 5/27/2008 4:37 PM | Comment | Recommend

Frank S.
5 years ago

According to the New York Daily News "researchers who note that oral cancer stemming from the human papilloma virus is more common in the U.S. than oral cancer caused by abusing tobacco."- New York Daily According to USA Today " At least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens, according to the first study of its kind in this age group."-

Aids is another horrible killer whom lurks invisibly in sexual encounters. Illicit drugs and alcohol facilitate a loosening of inhibitions where many sex workers surrender in ignorance not only to their sexual desires, but also often to serious destructive addictions, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Slick ads are often a stimulus and starting point for persons whom without thinking of the consequences risk everything over, " a perceived wonderful sexual encounter."

While wicked and evil users, abuse the bodies of those unfortunate enough to fall into their hands. And the humiliation and degradation of the dignity of the unwitting workers means nothing to these users, as all they care about is the blood money that they so greedily horde. While they keep themselves and their families safe and rich, through the ads advertising innocent blood and precious souls of those whom are bought and sold under the guise of entertainment!

The Sex trade Kills! Why should we allow them to kill more precious human beings through advertising?

Oral s

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

Pornography exploits women. It uses them as toys for men.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

good news

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m5 years ago

Don't cry for them Argentina...there's always craigs list.

Geoffrey Y.
Geoffrey Y5 years ago

The term sex workers is very interesting, perhaps, most of us have nothing to doig with this "workforce" yet some intersts remains for the public to pay attentions. Argentina was a great country before some stupid political power took over, it is time for restore. I vote for stop this type of ad!

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago

Marie W, I agree. Thanks

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Maybe men should just grow up.