We had a staff meeting yesterday and one of the issues I brought up was Agencies advertising as Independents.
We all know this is going on.
In most cases there is no conclusive proof, just a review or a message board post from a client saying X independent is not really an independent, which may very well be true, but if we started accepting just this a proof we'd quickly have pimps reporting that all their competitors are really agency girls.
But in the occassional case there is something more solid, maybe 2 girls sharing the same phone number or one person posting adverts for multiple girls.
My question to my team was:
"Should we start changing independent ads into agency ads if we can find some proof the lady is not independent? I know we'd only find that in a very small number of cases and once we started doing this the few people that do make 'mistakes' when advertising their agency girls as independents would soon stop making those 'mistakes' and we wouldn't catch anyone out. But is doing something like this better than doing absolutely nothing?"
I was shot straight down on that suggestion by Natasha and told that there is nothing we can do to stop agencies advertising as independents, because, the situation in Ireland is that there is a well-held belief that clients prefer independents, and so long as that is the situation, agencies are always going to try to hide the fact they are agencies, and it doesn't matter what we do, agencies will keep coming back as independents. The only thing we can do is have a reviews system and message boards so clients can share info on this issue, and we are already doing that. To try to do more than that would be pointless, as whatever we did it wouldn't work, and trying to go beyond our remit as an escort directory that can't possibly verify the quality and conditions of the services offered by our advertisers.
It is not often I get totally shot down at a staff meeting like that, but I have to say I was. I really can't see what we can do about this issue.
Natasha also told me, interestingly, that this problem isn't occuring in the UK, because there is not mass prejudice against agencies in cities like London, in fact many clients prefer agencies, and subsequently we don't have agencies trying to advertise as independents in the UK. It is only here in Ireland we have this problem it seems.
I'm not sure entirely why I'm posting this... I guess (a) I'm trying to explain our position here more as I know this is a hot issue at the moment and (b) I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any ideas that we maybe haven't thought up yet.