Unsuccessful public service announcements have outraged the Russian diaspora in Spain. Its initiators, the New Life Association, have already apologized.
Social advertising banners appeared in Cantabria (Northern Spain) a few days ago. Passengers who were waiting for the bus at stops could familiarize themselves with the proposed “menu” displayed on the banners:
Menu of the day. Special dish: Russian virgin + cocaine – 50 euros.
The list of “main dishes” includes Russian names with an indication of age, from 17 to 35 years old. Additional offers – marijuana without a condom, cocaine with rape for 20 euros, and other “delights”, says RIA News…
The reaction of the Russian House, the Russian Embassy and representatives of the Russian diaspora was immediate. Lawyer Oleg Gubarev announced his readiness to take legal action if the advertisement is not immediately removed from all bus stops. The Spanish Association New Life apologized and began removing the banners. Its spokesman Lourdes Jimenez says:
“… We are very sorry to have hurt feelings. We had absolutely no intention of offending anyone. For many years we have been helping victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and women in prostitution, women of various nationalities – both adults and girls. And we do all our work in defense of human rights … “.
An association that is truly committed to protecting women from abuse, incl. sexual, noted that they did not intend to respond to the offensive comments that followed their actions. However, the response message indicated:
We wanted this message to satisfy the people who were respectful of the grudge. We sincerely apologize to them.
To justify their actions, representatives of the organization explained that the advertisement was timed to coincide with the International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking in Women and Children (23 September). It is part of a campaign to raise awareness of the need to ban prostitution in Spain. The statement reads:
Migrants make up a significant proportion of victims of sexual abuse in most parts of the world. According to the UN, the majority of prostitution victims in Spain are foreign women. Does prostitution have a nationality? Yes, it has. In Spain, for example, several years ago, it is estimated that about 350 thousand women were engaged in prostitution, of which 80% are foreign women in situations of illegal migration: from Brazil, Colombia, Nigeria, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. Why did we choose Russia? There is no particular reason. We could write Venezuela, Colombia, Nigeria … The goal is to emphasize the fact: the majority of women in prostitution in Spain are foreigners. In this sense, the choice of names follows the same line of reasoning. These names can be found on any sex offer page.
The sponsors of the banner idea also explained that the Spanish names on the unusual menu would not have been able to grab attention and “show reality as it is.” They argue that comparing the services offered by prostitutes with the menu is justified because it is about “selling a woman’s body” and “consuming it.”