Craigslist Confirms Closure of Adult Services Section

  |  September 16, 2010   |  Comments

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.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Call Center Manager
      Call Center Manager (Common Sense Publishing) - Delray BeachWanted: Dynamic Call Center Manager with a Proven Track Record of Improving Response...
    • Interactive Product Manager
      Interactive Product Manager (Western Governors University) - Salt Lake CityWestern Governors University, one of the 20 largest universities...
    • SEO Senior Analyst
      SEO Senior Analyst (University of Phoenix (Apollo Education Group)) - San FranciscoSEO Senior Analyst   Position Summary...