When Toronto's Eye Weekly is reborn a week today (May 12) as The Grid, it will no longer have the so-called "escort" ads that have been a staple in the back pages since it was launched. According to an interview with Canadian Business's sales and marketing blog, Eye/Grid editor-in-chief and publisher Laas Turnbull, the ads don't fit with the magazine's reinvention as a weekly city magazine. While it was a very profitable form of advertising, he said, it was just time to get out (and, not coincidentally, making the magazine more attractive to national advertisers.)
"Given what we’re producing editorially, which I think is really quite beautiful and innovative, I think it would be really incongruous to have those nasty looking things in the back of the book," he said.
Turnbull said that while he has no moral objection to people paying for or receiving money from sex, he does have a problem with the institution of prostitution. "Because inevitably, people are treated badly, taken advantage of, and subjected to living and working conditions that are just really inhumane," he said. "What really drove it home for us was being contacted a few times by the police, asking for our help because they found out that a 14, 15 or 16-year-old girl was abducted and they suspect that she had been inducted into some prostitution ring. That’s the part of it I find really unacceptable."There is no indication that Eye's bigger, older rival, NOW magazine, is going to follow suit.