Village Voice Media Splits from Backpage.com Following Online Outcry
By mreyf
September 25, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 25, 2012

CONTACT:
Amanda Kloer, Campaigns Director, Change.org, (202) 684 2552, press@change.org

VILLAGE VOICE MEDIA SPLITS FROM BACKPAGE.COM
FOLLOWING ONLINE ADVERTISER CAMPAIGN
Backpage.com owners separate news publications from controversial sex trafficking ads after more than 30 advertisers drop ads.
Campaign on Change.org demanding advertisers drop support was part of multi-organizational effort to shut down adult ads on Backpage.com

WASHINGTON, DC – Village Voice Media, parent company of accused child sex trafficking facilitator Backpage.com, announced today that the online ad site will separate from the Village Voice news publications it once funded.

The decision to separate Backpage.com from the new Voice Media Group comes after anti-trafficking groups targeted advertisers in Village Voice Media publications, including a consumer-led campaign on Change.org. More than 30 advertisers dropped their Backpage.com ads following the campaign.

“I'm very thankful for the impact that advertisers had on separating the exploitative venue of Backpage.com from Village Voice publications.” said Justin Munroe, who launched the campaign on Change.org asking dozens of advertisers to stop working with the company. “This campaign sent a message to Village Voice that a significant amount of people, including companies and corporations, hold firm that it is unacceptable to exploit children for the sake of profit.”

"Those of us who demanded Village Voice Media do more to combat sex trafficking on their Web site Backpage.com should know that our voices are have been heard. But no one should be fooled by Village Voice Media owners Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin's blatant attempt to keep their profitable adult ad business open by splitting Backpage.com from their print publications,” said Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, president of Auburn Seminary and convener of a clergy coalition aimed at shutting down the adult section of Backpage.com. “As a mother and religious leader, I will not rest until Backpage's adult section is closed for good, and I am not alone. Alongside Auburn Seminary, more than 800 faith leaders have risen up in the face of this outrage and we will continue to pressure Mr. Lacey and Larkin to shut this site down in the name of the children who lose their dignity and sometimes their lives because of it.”

Journalists interested in setting up an interview should use the contact details at the top of the page.

Live signature totals from Justin’s campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/village-voice-advertisers-pull-advertisement-until-backpage-com-adult-section-is-shut-down

Live signature totals from Auburn Seminary’s clergy coalition campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-village-voice-media-to-stop-child-sex-trafficking-on-backpage-com

For more information on Change.org, please visit:
http://www.change.org/about

Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by nearly two million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.


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