Mobile World Congress organiser the GSMA has issued an apology for the use of its logo on a website advertising a Barcelona brothel, but has been unable to do anything about a large poster which sits next to a Samsung advert.
Visitors to Mobile World Congress are used to the route from the airport to the city imploring the 90,000 grey men in grey suits who attend to visit their booth, but it seems that the demographic also aroused the interest of the ladies of the night, who wanted to provide a very special welcome to the Latin city.
Prostitution is legal in Barcelona, so there is not much the GSMA can do about the presence of the advertisement, but the organisation does have a lot of clout with the local authorities – all those visitors spend a lot of money – and so plans to take action in the future.
The issue was raised by Mobile Marketing guru Helen Keegan. Helen and a couple of other campaigners intend to work with GSMA Director General Anne Bouverot to clean up the mass act of congress.
The GSMA has issued a statement:
“We are appalled by the promotion of prostitution or the exploitation of women at our event and are constantly monitoring and addressing issues as we are made aware of them.
In this particular case, the company was using the Mobile World Congress logo on their website. This has now been removed. Billboards in Barcelona are unregulated. Those that do not specifically reference Mobile World Congress or our brand are beyond our direct control. We are, however, working with the city of Barcelona to address these issues in the future.”
Of course, the event is now over and the erection has done its job. ®
Photo Credit: Helen Keegan