The action by NOW is part of their campaign to end sex trafficking in New York. The women’s rights group accused the magazine of being a "marketing arm of the organized crime world of prostitution and human trafficking" and alleged that the classified ads are used primarily to promote massage and prostitution businesses.
According to NOW, the magazine was earning $10,000 a week running the ads. In response, New York Magazine announced this morning that it would no longer accept sex ads, and by this afternoon had removed all adult ads from the classified section of their website.
Spokesperson for New York Magazine Serena Torrey confirmed the decision, but would not confirm whether pressure from NOW had spurred the magazine’s actions.
“It's just the right the thing to do,” Torrey said. “The magazine is really prospering now and it's finally time to get out of a business that we were never comfortable being in.”
President of the New York City chapter of NOW Sonia Ossorio said that when she heard news of the magazine’s change in policy, she was “delighted.”
An advertiser in New York Magazine named Ashley and advertises herself as a "sexy hot Latina" disagreed the prostitution label.
“I just provide dancing, bachelor parties, you know what I mean, massages,” Ashley said. “I don't put sex in my ads and don't provide sex.”
New York magazine is a subsidiary of New York Media Holdings LLC, which is owned by Lazard Ltd. CEO Bruce Wasserstein. Its circulation is approximately 429,000.