After provoking a public and diplomatic outcry with its highly controversial campaign, the Spanish anti-prostitution charity Nueva Vida has issued an apology on Thursday for casting fictional Russian teenagers as prostitutes in its anti-human trafficking marketing campaign, Russian media report.
The PR stunt designed to shock the passersby about the prospect of paying for sex featured mocked-up restaurant-style billboard-menu offering a range of illicit specials like “Russian virgins and cocaine.”
They were told that besides the girls offered for €50 each, they can smoke pot, snort cocaine and even dispense with the use of a condom for an extra fee.
Asociación NUEVA VIDA claimed the materials designed by a group of university students were part of efforts to abolish prostitution by making point that there would be no sexually exploited women without the men that are consuming women’s bodies.
The adverts were posted last week in cities nationwide to mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons with an aim to shock viewers into supporting an end to the exploitation of trafficked women by finding the marketing materials in the street and uploading it with the “do not buy” caption.
Blasting the apparent reliance on stereotypes about Russian women has drawn a furious response from the Russian Embassy in Madrid that has immediately lodged a protest with Spanish officials noting that Russians living in Spain are outraged by the provocative banners mentioning Russian girls to bring attention to the Spain’s problem with the prostitution.
The Embassy, Russian cultural associations and community groups branded the publicity appeal in its complaint as inappropriate and demanded that Spanish authorities take urgent measures to remove the posters and prevent further such incidents.
Moscow’s diplomatic mission in Madrid informed in its statement issued on Thursday that the NGO apologized for the unacceptable PR campaign and its director Garcia Selorio announced that the provocative banners would be taken down.