LONDON - MEN Media, publisher of the Manchester Evening News, has stopped publishing personal services ads in its regional newspapers because of concerns that some of the businesses could be linked with criminal activity.
The publisher has been in contact with police, trade bodies and a number of its readers about concerns over the nature of health club, escort and personal services ads.
MEN Media said that publishing ads for premises and services, if proven to be used for criminal activity, could be classed as profiting from the proceeds of crime.
Therefore ads within these classifications will not feature in the Manchester Evening News, The Surrey Advertiser, the Reading Evening Post and all associated titles within the group.
Mark Rix, managing director of MEN Media, said: "Following on from discussions [with the police, trade bodies and readers], the editor and I decided that it would be in the best interests of our readers if we were to decline such advertising in the future.
"All of our customers in these categories have been notified about the changes."