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Ad withdrawn after online campaign

by Ed Beavan

AN ONLINE pressure-group that called for the removal of billboard advertisements for a website that encour­aged extra-marital affairs appears to have won a victory.

Jon Kuhrt, from Merton, in south London, started the campaign after he spotted a billboard advertisement for the website maritalaffair.co.uk.

Mr Kuhrt, who worships at Streatham Baptist Church, wrote to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). But the ASA rejected his complaint, saying that the advertise­ment was “unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence”.

Mr Kurht appealed against its decision. “Their policy seems to be saying that the prevailing attitude in society is that extra-marital affairs are acceptable. . . It may be only a small website, but it’s a big issue, and if it’s allowed to be seen as normal we’re conceding more ground, and faith will be seen more as a ‘private thing’.

“When you think of the trauma and suffering caused to individuals and communities by the damage of affairs and the breakdown of relationships they cause, I can’t think of anything more irresponsible.”

On Wednesday, more than 3400 people joined Mr Kuhrt’s online cam­paign on the social-networking website Facebook. A statement re­leased by the website maritalaffair. co.uk said that it had reviewed its advert­ising strategy and had “instructed our agency to remove billboard ads from our current campaign in light of recent devel­opments”. It main­tained, however, that “people have the right to choose their own lifestyle.”

Mr Kuhrt said that he would now be starting a new campaign to close down the website.

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