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Prostitution Licensing Authority › Advertising › Guidelines about the Approved Form for Advertisements for Prostitution

Guidelines about the Approved Form for Advertisements for Prostitution

Section 139A, Prostitution Act 1999

Version 12 of the guidelines commences 28 June 2017 and replaces Version 11

PART 1

1.1 PURPOSE OF THE GUIDELINES ABOUT THE APPROVED FORM FOR ADVERTISING (THE GUIDELINES).

The Guidelines are provided to ensure that advertisements for prostitution meet lawful requirements and do not offend community expectations. Advertisements for prostitution published in Queensland must be in the approved form. An advertisement which complies with the guidelines will be in the approved form. It is an offence to publish an advertisement that is not in the approved form.

S139A. The PLA may issue guidelines about the approved form for advertisements for prostitution.

1.2 TO WHOM THE GUIDELINES APPLY

The guidelines apply equally to advertisers and publishers.

All advertisements for prostitution published in Queensland including those for: Licensed brothels, interstate brothels, sole operator sex workers and host sites must comply with the guidelines.

Publishers of advertising including internet host sites and/or directories must ensure that advertisements appearing for prostitution on the host site meet the guidelines.

1.3 MEANING OF APPROVED FORM FOR ADVERTISEMENTS FOR PROSTITUTION

  1. Generally advertisement appearing in Queensland that meet these guidelines and other relevant legal requirements will be in the approved form.
  2. An advertisement that must be approved (refer section 2.3) and are approved by the PLA will be in the approved form.
  3. Refer s. 92

1.4 LEGISLATION

The Prostitution Act 1999 (the Act) provides for prostitution advertising. It is an offence to publish an advertisement for prostitution if it is not in the approved form. Section 92 of the Act refers to the approved form. Generally, an approved form of advertising is a form approved by the PLA specifically, a form provided for under guidelines issued by the PLA, or an advertisement that complies with a regulation. Regulation 15 of the Prostitution Regulation 2014 prescribes the matters that may and may NOT be included in an advertisement for prostitution.

These guidelines include the matters dealt with under s. 15 of the Prostitution Regulation and may be used by any person who wishes to place an advertisement for publication as well as print publishers and website developers.

Refer to section 4.1 of these guidelines for further information about the legislative framework and offences.

1.5 DEFINITIONS

An advertisement includes: a notice, a sign, a circular, or a matter that is not in writing but which conveys a message because of the form or context in which it appears. Note: This includes posters, stubby holders, cups/mugs, clothing, pamphlets and other similar things.

"Publish" an advertisement or statement means:
Publish, or cause to be published, in any way including by newspaper, internet, periodical, notice, sign or circular or through radio or television or by film or video-recording. Internet includes: any technology based platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or a blogsite directly associated with the brothel that may publish information about the brothel.

Note 1: Publish also includes text messaging generated by a server or similar, for the purposes of advertising prostitution services.
Note 2: An advertisement is still considered to be published in Queensland even if the act done to publish the advertisement is done outside Queensland or if the advertisement is published on an internet site located outside Queensland.
Brothel - The word "brothel" in these guidelines refers to a licensed brothel in Queensland, or a lawful interstate brothel.

The Approved Form means:
If the Authority has, for a particular advertisement, consented to a form - that form; or

(a) if guidelines under s139A or a regulation provides for the form of an advertisement, including matters that may or may not be included in an advertisement – a form that complies with the guidelines or regulation; or
(b) otherwise the approved form under s139 (2)

And includes the size and content (photos, drawings, and wording) of the advertisement. Content will be determined based on where the advertisement is to be published. For example, an advertisement for an adult-only publication may not be appropriate for general print publication.

Fetish
Has its ordinary dictionary meaning. That is, sexual desire linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, activity, part of the body item of clothing etc. For the guidelines this may include references to golden showers, rubber, sadism and so on.

Classifiable Publications
Publications that have elements, such as adult content, to be assessed by the National Classification Code before they can be sold, distributed or advertised in Australia.

Genitals
Have their ordinary dictionary meaning. That is a reference, image or depiction of the reproductive organs.

PART 2

2.1 PROHIBITED ADVERTISING

Advertising that is not in the approved form is prohibited. The approved form is met by following these guidelines.

  1. Advertisements for prostitution published through radio or television or by film or video recording are not permitted.
     
    Note: Digital recordings may only appear on a prostitution website (as defined in section 3.4 (B) of the guidelines).
     
  2. Promotional signage on motor vehicles or other forms of transport are not permitted.
    Example: buses, taxis, trailers, limousines, etc.
     
  3. Stickers are not permitted.
     
  4. Advertising by bill board/A-frame/sandwich board and the like, is not permitted.
     
  5. Advertising by sky writing is not permitted.
     
  6. Advertising for brothels appearing in a print directory, such as the Yellow™ print directory, must not appear in a section exclusively used to advertise escort services.

2.2 UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY

  1. 1. Advertisements which state or imply that unsafe sex (that is, sexual intercourse or oral sex without the use of a prophylactic) will be provided are prohibited.
     
    For example: use of words "natural", "bareback", "basic", "skin to skin", "kissable" and the like are prohibited.
     
    Note 1: References to natural are only allowed as a physical description of self. Example: "natural blonde" or "natural 36DD bust".
     
    Note 2: Advertisements which include statements about safe sex are allowed. Example: safe sex practices only or condoms must always be used.
     
  2. Advertisements which may hold out or include a statement intended or likely to induce a person to seek employment as a prostitute are prohibited, in accordance with s. 94 of the Act.
     
  3. Advertisements for brothel staff are prohibited unless they include the title of the position, and are published in the positions vacant/employment section or the equivalent. The position title must not imply that the position is for a sex worker. For example, the use of the word 'hostess' is prohibited.
     
  4. Prostitution advertisements which infer that prostitutes do not have a choice in the services they provide are prohibited.
     
  5. Consistent with s. 95(1) of the Act, any prostitution advertisement that states directly or indirectly that the person’s business is connected with or provides massage services, is prohibited. "Business" of a person means the business of a licensed brothel or of an individual prostitute. References to professional memberships or qualifications in massage or massage therapies are prohibited.
     
    Note 3: By way of example, the following words are acceptable: sensual touch, intimate touch, exotic relaxation, magic hands, stress relief, rejuvenating, rejuvenating experience, rejuvenating treatment, sensuous service, quality treatment, quality relaxation, quality rejuvenation, quality care, relaxing treatment, relaxing experience, soothing treatment, caring experience.
     
  6. Brothel advertisements must not directly or indirectly state that the brothel is associated with escort services. Brothel web sites which appear on a host web site advertising escort services must not hold out or claim that escorts services are available from the brothel. This is consistent with the prohibition on escort services (out calls) from licensed brothels under s.78(1)(a) of the Act.
     
  7. Brothel advertisements which state or imply that more sex workers are available at any one time than the law permits in Queensland are not permitted. Section 78(2) of the Act limits the number of sex workers who can be at a licensed brothel, dependant on the number of rooms. Under Schedule 3 of the Act, if there is one room the maximum number of sex workers allowed is two, if it is two rooms it is three sex workers, if it is three rooms it is four sex workers, if it is four rooms it is six sex workers, and if it is five rooms it is eight sex workers.
     
  8. Sole operator advertisements which state or imply that more than one sex worker is available are prohibited.

2.3 ADVERTISEMENTS WHERE APPROVAL MUST BE SOUGHT.

The following are the only circumstances in which the approval of the PLA must be sought:

  1. a website link on an internet prostitution advertisement, except in those circumstances where it is authorised under the guidelines (refer to section 3.4. of the guidelines);
     
  2. print media advertisements (except for print directories) larger than 200mm² in size (refer to section 3.4. of the guidelines);
     
  3. images on websites or in classifiable publications of tools of trade for bondage and discipline (B&D), sadism and masochism (S&M), and cock and ball torture (CBT) services (refer to section 3.3 of the guidelines).
     
  4. images on websites or in classifiable publications of anything that may inflict pain (refer to section 3.3 of the guidelines)
     
  5. images on websites or in classifiable publications which relate to fetishism (refer to section 3.3. of the guidelines)
     
  6. information on business cards which is outside the scope of the information expressly authorised by the guidelines (refer to section 3.4.(E) of the guidelines);
     
  7. information on brothel merchandising which is outside the scope of that expressly authorised by the guidelines (refer to section 3.4.(H) of the guidelines); and
     
  8. all advertisements for prostitution which are not dealt with under the guidelines (refer to section 3.4.(I)).

Where approval is sought, the proposed advertisement must be submitted to the PLA by email: plaadmin@iprimus.com.au.

2.4 APPROVALS WHERE GIVEN

The PLA has the right to consider any published prostitution advertisement and set-aside any previous approval or consent given by the PLA.

PART 3

3.1 DETAILS ABOUT THE APPROVED FORM

The guidelines apply to all advertising for prostitution. Information about the approved form is provided for each of the following specific and commonly used mediums for advertising. Section 3.2 Content for all advertising and section 3.3 images for all advertising must be met along with the further information about the specific medium for the advertising. (E.g. internet or business card)

3.2 CONTENT FOR ALL ADVERTISING

  1. Advertisers and publishers should consider if a proposed word or phrase could be construed as offensive to reasonable community standards (publishers should think in terms of their average reasonable readership) and if it is the case that it can be construed as offensive the word or phrase should be rejected.
     
  2. Advertisements describing or referring to body fluids or body waste are not permitted. Example: tasty, juicy, sweet nectar, dripping wet, cum, lactating, Mistress Squirt A Lot, pee and the like.
     
  3. The only description of genitals that is permissible is in relation to whether a male has been circumcised. In this respect, the only acceptable words are "cut" and "uncut". All other descriptions of genitals are prohibited. Example: length of penis.
     
  4. Advertisements referring to drugs and drug use are prohibited.
    Note: References to "drug free" are allowed.
     
  5. Section 93(1) of the Act specifies that advertisements for prostitution must not describe the services offered. Under the guidelines this also includes descriptions that may be read as a service that is provided or that is an acronym for services e.g. BJ, CBT, B&D.
     
    Note 1: References to nationality are only allowed if they refer to the nationality of the sex worker. For example - "Greek Goddess", "Spanish Beauty", "Asian Stunner", "French Supermodel", etc.
     
    Note 2: References to sexuality are allowed. For example - gay, transgender, sex change, shemale, female impersonator, bi-sexual, etc.
     
    Note 3: Words that do not directly describe the services offered may be used in a prostitution advertisement. Example: fetish, fantasy, role play, sensual touch, exotic relaxation, magic hands, stress relief, girlfriend experience, rejuvenating, sensuous service, Mistress, Master, Submissive, passive, dominatrix, double pleasures (brothels only), intimate touch/es, kinky, hard core, man action and straight-acting.
     
  6. Advertisements must not state or imply that sex workers are under the age of 18 years, or are virgins.

    For example: "young", "student", "girl", "boy", "fresh", "new to the industry/business", "chick", "beginner" and "never been touched" are prohibited.
     
    Note 1: The use of the words "young", "student", "girl", "boy", or "chick" is permissible when used in conjunction with an age that is at least 18, because it makes explicit that the sex worker is at least 18 years of age.
    For example: 22 year old student, or 18+ girl.
     
    Note 2: As a description of self, the word "youthful" may be used in a combination of words not intended to imply that a sex worker is under the age of 18 years, or a virgin. For example, "youthful looking 40 year old".
     
  7. Brothel advertisements which include mobile phone numbers are prohibited unless the mobile phone number refers to an automated SMS text message service.
     
  8. Prostitution advertisements which contain an image (including caricatures or cartoons) of a person, which render that person child-like in appearance, are prohibited, unless immediately accompanied by a statement that the person depicted is at least 18 years of age.
     
  9. Brothel advertising MUST include the name (prominently displayed) of the:
    a) licensed brothel as it appears on the brothel licence (for brothels in Queensland)
    b) name of the brothel (for brothels in jurisdictions other than Queensland).
     
  10. Sole operator advertisements naming a brothel or the phone number for a brothel are considered an advertisement for the brothel and are not permitted. E.g. A sole operator advertisement which contains "now working at (brothel name)".
     
  11. Advertising of discounts at brothels is not permitted unless the advertisement states that the discount is in respect of room hire only, in a font size no less than the font size of the main text and at a location within the advertisement that is clearly visible. All advertisements, (e.g. general print media, internet based advertising and classifiable print media etc.) must meet this standard.

3.3 PROHIBITED IMAGES ALL ADVERTISING

  1. (a) The sexual organs or anus of a person or frontal nudity of the genital region and mons veneris/mons pubis region
     
    (b) Additional prohibition for non-classifiable publications (e.g. newspapers, business cards). Genital definition via pose or tight fitting clothing is not acceptable
     
  2. Bare breast unless in a website or classifiable publication
     
  3. A sexual act or simulated sexual act
     
  4. A person under the age of 18 years
     
  5. Prostitution advertisements which contain an image (including caricatures or cartoons) of a person, which render that person child-like in appearance, are prohibited, unless immediately accompanied by a statement that the person depicted is at least 18 years of age.
     
  6. An animal in reference or implication to bestiality.
     
  7. Pictures, drawings or references to alcohol, drugs, drug use, unsafe sex, underage sex, sexual activity or acts of violence.
     
  8. Pictures, drawings or references to Fetishism are prohibited.
     
    Note: Approval may be sought from the PLA for websites or classifiable publications.
     
  9. Prostitution advertisements which include pictures of tools of trade for Bondage & Discipline, Sadism & Masochism and Cock and Ball Torture services are prohibited in general publications. Approval for such pictures on websites or in classifiable publications must be sought from the PLA. For example, photos including whips, etc. must have the approval of the PLA.

3.4 ADDITIONAL SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR METHODS OF ADVERTSING.

The following specific information applies to specific forms of advertising. Information in the following must be read in conjunction with relevant prohibitions.

3.4. (A) SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR SIGNAGE FOR A BROTHEL

  1. Prohibitions in Part 2 and section 3.2 and section 3.3 apply.
     
  2. Advertising signage intended for the brothel premises is regulated by the IDAS Code for Development Applications and/or relevant local laws. Refer to your Local Government Town Planning Department. Content of signage must comply with these guidelines.
     
  3. Advertising signage for prostitution services is prohibited unless it is - a) located on brothel premises or b) located in 18+ venues with the permission of the relevant venue (e.g. fixed flyer advertising) or c) provided for under these guidelines.

3.4. (B) SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR INTERNET ADVERTISING

  1. Prohibitions in Part 2 and section 3.2 and Section 3.3 apply.
     
  2. A prostitution website is a website concerned wholly or mainly with prostitution advertising. For example, a website for a licensed brothel.
     
  3. For the purpose of these guidelines, the entire content of a prostitution website is taken to be an advertisement for prostitution, and accordingly must be in the approved form.
     
  4. Prostitution websites must indicate that they are restricted to persons who are 18 years or over.
     
  5. Only prostitution advertisements on the internet may state the sexual services that WILL NOT be provided. Example: no anal sex, no full service.

3.4. (C) SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR PRINT PUBLICATIONS

Print publications include newspapers, magazines, print directories, newsletters, brochures, flyers and other printed publications for general distribution.

  1. Prohibitions in Part 2 and section 3.2 and section 3.3 apply
     
  2. Only prostitution advertisements appearing in classifiable publications may contain images of bare breasts. Such images are prohibited in general print publications.
     
  3. Print publications must not contain the price of sexual services.
    Example: $160 per half hour or $200 per hour.
     
  4. Print media advertisements, other than advertisements in print directories, which are addressed separately in 3.4(D), greater than 200cm² in size are not permitted unless the advertisement has been provided for under these guidelines or has been approved by the PLA.
     
    Note: Larger sized advertisements are allowed provided they have been submitted to the PLA for consideration and have approval from the PLA.

3.4. (D) SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR PRINT DIRECTORY ADVERTISEMENTS

  1. Prohibitions in Part 2 and section 3.2 and section 3.3 apply.
     
  2. For sole operator sex workers, advertisements in print directories may be placed under a heading which relates to adult entertainment and services, or escort services.
     
  3. Escort services from brothels are illegal in Queensland. Accordingly, it is prohibited for brothel advertisements to appear under a heading that is used exclusively for escort services because it could be taken to imply that escorts are available from brothels. Advertisements for brothels should appear under a heading which relates to adult entertainment and services, or a heading which is not used exclusively for escort services.
     
  4. Print directory advertisements larger than 253mm in length and 215mm in width are prohibited.

3.4. (E) SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR BUSINESS CARDS

  1. Prohibitions in Part 2 and section 3.2 and section 3.3 apply.
     
  2. Business cards must be no larger than 90mms x 55mms.
     
  3. Licensed brothels only: Business cards may only advertise the brothel name, brothel address, phone number, fax number, approved by-line or logo, e-mail or web address. Business cards may also include a small map of the surrounding area and access roads.
     
    Note: Other information may be allowed on business cards provided it has been approved by the PLA.

3.4. (F) SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR AUTOMATIC AND UNSOLICITED SMS TEXT MESSAGE ADVERTISING

  1. Prohibitions in Part 2 and section 3.2 and section 3.3 apply.
     
  2. Automated and unsolicited short messaging services (SMS) which convey information to a person are considered advertising for the purposes of the Act.
     
  3. Prohibitions prescribed by section 4 apply.
     
  4. Automated and unsolicited prostitution advertising sent via SMS text message must be in the approved form and comply with these guidelines.

3.4. (G) SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR CROSS PROMOTION

  1. Prohibitions in Part 2 and section 3.2 and section 3.3 apply.
     
  2. Sponsorship of any event or organisation is not permitted. Example: a sporting or corporate event, a club, a team, a public event, an exhibition.
     
  3. Website links appearing on an internet prostitution advertisement are not permitted unless the link is a website link to the PLA, an online directory, an advertisement for legal prostitution, another licensed brothel, a Government funded industry support agency or a lawful business provided permission has been given by the lawful business.
     
    Note: Website links other than those specified may be allowed provided they have approval from the PLA.
     
  4. Trade promotion or any other type of art union advertisements offering sexual services as a prize, are prohibited.
     
  5. Prostitution advertisements which include the advertisement of another thing are prohibited unless the person responsible for the thing has consented to inclusion in the advertisement.
    For example: a prostitution advertisement which includes the offer of a discount voucher for a shop must have the written consent of a person who is responsible for the shop.

3.4. (H) SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR MERCHANDISING

  1. Prohibitions in Part 2 and section 3.2 and section 3.3 apply.
     
  2. Merchandise, and corporate gifts including clothing and items of property such as mugs, pens, stress balls, etc. may only be distributed from the licensed brothel premises, and 18+ adult entertainment venues or events. Example: Sexpo, adult shops, and strip clubs.
     
  3. The only information permitted to appear on these items is the brothel name, brothel address, brothel website address, and social media account and/or land line phone number/s.
     
    Note: Other information may be allowed provided that it has been approved by the PLA.

3.4. (I) OTHER PROSTITUTION ADVERTISEMENTS

  1. All other prostitution advertisements not dealt with under these guidelines must be approved by the PLA for consideration prior to publication.

3.5 INTERSTATE PUBLISHERS WITH ADVERTISEMENTS APPEARING IN QUEENSLAND

  1. 1. All advertisements for prostitution published in Queensland must comply with these guidelines. This includes prostitution advertisements for interstate brothels and sex workers.
     
  2. Where advertisements for interstate brothels and sex workers are published in Queensland, they must not include matters which are illegal in Queensland.
     
  3. Approved form includes the size and content (photos, drawings, and wording) of the advertisement. Content will be determined based on where the advertisement is to be published. For example, an advertisement for an adult only publication may not be appropriate for general print publication.

PART 4

4.1 LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

1.1 The Prostitution Act 1999 (the Act) provides for prostitution advertising. It is an offence to publish an advertisement for prostitution if it is not in the approved form. Section 92 of the Act refers to the approved form. Generally, an approved form of advertising is a form approved by the PLA specifically, a form provided for under guidelines issued by the PLA, or an advertisement that complies with a regulation. Regulation 15 of the Prostitution Regulation 2014 prescribes the matters that may and may NOT be included in an advertisement for prostitution.
 

1.2 These guidelines include the matters dealt with under Regulation 15 of the Prostitution Regulation and may be used by any person who wishes to place an advertisement for publication as well as print publishers and website developers.
 

1.3 These guidelines are intended to provide a clear, simple and concise explanation of what constitutes an approved form of advertising (and conversely, what does not). The guidelines utilise explicit and forthright language, which is necessary for them to be of practical use to the sex industry and publishers. The guidelines are intended for a discrete and defined audience, and are not intended for dissemination amongst the general public.
 

1.4 These guidelines replace: Version 11 of the Guidelines about the Approved Form
 
1.5 All advertisements are to be self-assessed, unless these guidelines specifically require an advertisement to be submitted for approval of the PLA. In circumstances where advertisements are to be self-assessed, the role of the PLA will be to provide advice on the application of these guidelines.
 

1.6 The guidelines may be replaced or varied by a later guideline issued under section 139A of the Act.
 

1.7 The guidelines will commence operation on 28 June 2017.

Prostitution Act 1999

S139A. The PLA may issue guidelines about the approved form for advertisements for prostitution.
 

S93(2) A person must not publish an advertisement for prostitution that is not in the approved form.
 

S92 Approved form means:
(a) if the Authority has, for a particular advertisement, consented to a form - that form; or
(b) if guidelines under s139A or a regulation provides for the form or regulation; or
(c) otherwise the approved form under s139 (2)
 
S93(1) A person must not publish an advertisement for prostitution that describes the services offered.
 
S93(3) A person must not publish any advertisement for prostitution through radio or television or by film or video recording.
 
S94 A person must not publish a statement intended or likely to induce a person to seek employment as a prostitute.
 
S95(1) A person providing prostitution must not hold out or publish an advertisement that states, directly or indirectly, that the person’s business provides or is connected with massage services.
 

Business of a person means the business of a licensed brothel or of an individual prostitute.

4.2 PENALTIES WHEN THE GUIDELINES ARE NOT COMPIED WITH

Offences for advertising may result in court proceedings or dealt with by issue of a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN). The value of a penalty unit is set out in s. 5 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992.

4.3 WHERE FURTHER INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND

The Guidelines are available on the PLA website www.pla.qld.gov.au

Contact Compliance Officers at the Office of the PLA on ph.: 3858 9500 or email plaadmin@iprimus.com.au

Information about how to obtain approval for specific advertisements requiring approval, contact Compliance Officers of the Office of the PLA PH: 3858 9500 or via email plaadmin@iprimus.com.au

Last updated 28/06/2017