Wednesday, August 31, 2011
There has been some misinformation reported about the campaign from Washington State mayors and 46 attorneys general to get Backpage.com to change its advertising policies. It was reported that you can place Backpage ads in The Inlander; that is not true.
The Inlander has maintained a ban on Adult Services ads, like “escorts,” since the early 1990s. Unlike many big urban weeklies, we have never published page after page of these ads. We did sign a contract with Backpage to provide us with regular classified ads, like to rent an apartment or sell a car; in the contract, we specifically opted out of publishing their Adult Services ads. But the relationship never turned into any real income, and last spring we terminated our agreement with them. Additionally, we haven’t linked to Backpage from our website for two years; and Backpage does not reference our past relationship on their site. You cannot place a Backpage ad of any kind at our office or on our website.
We never felt comfortable building a business on money that could be involved in illegal activity. We also don’t accept tobacco ads or strip club ads. We are not moral crusaders, but it is our paper and we decide what goes in it by our own sense of what is right. Other papers around the country are making hundreds of thousands of dollars on Adult Services ads, and we’re proud that the Inland Northwest has allowed us to have a successful newspaper that doesn’t need the crutch of Adult Services advertising to support it.