Company tells House Judiciary Committee it will not reinstate adult ads category.
Craigslist has confirmed the permanent closure of the adult services section of its site, which it restricted access to last week. In written testimony submitted to a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on child sex trafficking yesterday, Craigslist's director of customer service and law enforcement relations William Clinton Powell wrote, "As of September 3, 2010 craigslist has terminated its adult services section."
Craigslist restricted access to adult services ads last week by placing the word "Censored" over a link to the section on its homepage. Any mention of the section has now been removed, however, and according to reports, Powell told the committee his company had "no intention to bring the category back."
Craigslist removed the ads following pressure from 21 attorneys general, who argued the ads help promote prostitution and sex trafficking. According to Peter Zollman, founding principal of classified ad consultancy the AIM Group, Craigslist's decision might appease government officials but it will do little to eliminate illegal practices, instead driving advertisers to Craigslist's competitors. "Other sites are likely to benefit substantially from the shut down of adult services on Craigslist. Whether these ads are gone from Craigslist… they will be around on the Web forever," he told ClickZ.
Powell argued the same point in his testimony, stating, "Those who formerly posted adult services ads on craigslist will now advertise at countless other venues."
Powell also detailed the ways in which craigslist works with law enforcement officials to ensue the legality of its ads and the safety of its users, and implied similar security measures might not be matched by its peers. "It is our sincere hope that law enforcement and advocacy groups will find helpful partners there," he wrote.
Meanwhile, Zollman suggested the closure of craigslist's ads and their subsequent migration to other sites could in fact exacerbate the situation. "Although [the section] provided an open marketplace for prostitution and other illegal activity, it also provided a convenient central location for law enforcement officials to find people who were engaging in those illegal activities. Now that's gone," he said.
A report issued by Zollman's AIM Group yesterday suggested craigslist could stand to lose $15 million in ad revenue as a result of the closure of the category.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT
October 23, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT