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Tartu mayor calls for further restrictions on sex service ads in public space

An advertisement for a striptease club in Tartu.
An advertisement for a striptease club in Tartu. Source: SCANPIX/Margus Ansu/Tartu Postimees

In a letter to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform) said that the Estonian Advertising Act ought to be amended to explicitly prohibit the promotion of erotic and striptease services in public urban space.

Klaas told the ministry that there has been an increasing number of incidences in which vehicles parked in Tartu's urban public spaces are being used to advertise such services.

"This new practice has been disturbing for the citizens of the city, both due to the aggressive occupation of public street space and the content of the advertisements or other information displayed on these vehicles. Particularly disturbing have been the advertisements for certain nightclubs, which are displayed on vehicles and refer to the club as a striptease club or gentleman's club, or list various erotic services such as pole dancing, lap dancing, private dancing, lesbian shows and so on," wrote Klaas.

According to Klaas, there is no legal means for the local authority to restrict these activities and the companies in question know how to successfully operate on the borderline between the 'forbidden' and the 'permitted'.

The mayor therefore proposed a move to tighten up Section 25 of the Estonian Advertising Act, which relates to the advertising of services offered for satisfaction of sexual desire.

According to section 25 of the act, the advertising of services offered for satisfaction of sexual desire, including advertising of prostitution or advertising referring to such services, is prohibited.

In addition, any advertising contributing to intermediation of prostitution is also prohibited.

According to Klaas, this ought to amended to also include the words "advertising of erotic and striptease services."

"However, if a general ban on the advertising of such services is not put forward, then the advertising of erotic and striptease and related services should be banned, at least in the form of outdoor advertising, as it is experienced by all those using public spaces and is disturbing to many parents, as well as adults more generally," Klaas said.

"This would also better fulfil the legislator's original intention to protect minors as well as adults, who are offended by the public advertising of such services," the mayor added.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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