“Hi students! 0, – student loan? Date a sugar daddy” is the motto of the controversial website richmeetbeautiful (RmB). After Youtube and radio advertisements, the website’s poster appeared on billboards in Oslo in the last few days.
The website encourages female students to sign up for dating «sugar dadies».
“You make an effort to look good and you deserve to be treated accordingly. The men at RmB know this and want you to look good and realize that a woman who looks so good can be taken to shopping and exotic travels, “the website advertises according to VG.
The Consumer Ombudsman has received several complains about the advertisement of the website. Non-profit organization Freethem working against human trafficking and sexual exploitation, brought the case under spotlight on its Facebook page.
– This is absolutely bad! We think the advertisement clearly violates the law and is highly gender-discriminatory. It seems like a form of pushing for prostitution, and it’s extra bad that it targets young female students, “says Freethem director, Jeanette Kalmar Frøvik to VG.
Kalmar believes the advertisement may be deceiving especially for vulnerable female students.
– Those who end up in prostitution market are often vulnerable people, who may have been subjected to abuse earlier in life. The advertisiment is particularly dangerous for those who may be in a difficult situation, both economically and socially, she says.
Consumer Ombudsman Elisabeth Lier Haugseth is also highly critical of the advertisement. She says that the Consumer Ombudsman will now carefully review the website’s advertisements to see if they are in violation of the marketing act.
Glorification of prostitution
Christian Democrat (KrF) politician and deputy chairman of the Justice Committee Kjell Ingolf Ropstad also reacts strongly to the advertisements.
– I perceive the advertisement as glorification of prostitution. I have spent a lot of my political life in the fight against prostitution and piracy, which can lead to both substance abuse and forced labor. It is particularly bad that the site addresses a vulnerable group, says he to VG.
Ropstad believes the advertisement not only promotes a negative view of women, but also a negative perception of men.
It’s natural to have sex in relations
The website richmeetbeautiful.no is owned by Digisec Media. Owner of Digisec Media, Norwegian Sigurd Vedal, also owns a number of other similar websites – including Victoria Milan, which helps married people cheat just like notorious Ashley Madison.
– I have heard that there have been reactions to our advertising campaign. Our vision is to offer beautiful women a relationship to a mature, intelligent man, who can be a partner, conversation partner and mentor. In a relationship, it is also natural to have sex. But there is a big difference in advertising to be a sugarbaby and prostitution, “says Vedal to VG.
He says that everything through their website, including sex, is going to happen completely voluntarily.