News

Major property developer criticised for ‘anti-sex worker’ billboard in Manchester city centre

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 19th August 2022

One of Manchester’s most recognised property development companies has faced backlash this week for a ‘disgraceful’ billboard placed beside its newest residential site.

The enormous advertisement was erected beside Capital & Centric’s Crusader Mill and Phoenix developments in Piccadilly East.

On it are the words ‘From red light, to green light’ – a slogan that’s been branded as a ‘discriminatory, anti-sex worker billboard’ by a local charity.

Capital & Centric has now acknowledged that people ‘don’t like the banner’ and said that it will be changed.

ADVERTISEMENT
The billboard in Piccadilly East. Credit: The Manc Group

MASH (Manchester Action on Street Health) offers support to women who sex work – be it for emotional wellbeing or sexual health – and has its headquarters near to the new billboard.

They wrote: “We’re saddened that a discriminatory, anti-sex worker billboard has been put up nr MASH.

“If we want Manchester to be a welcoming city where all can thrive, this isn’t the way.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We stand with sex workers, always. Help to counteract the hate by supporting us mash.org.uk/donate.”

On Twitter, one person said: “Disgraceful for a property developer to espouse any kind of morality over sex workers who were here decades before them ~on a literal billboard~. @CapitalCentric you should be ashamed of this.”

Someone else said: “Unbelievably poor taste advertising from so-called social impact investors at @CapitalCentric.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital&Centric, said: “There’s been a handful of comments on social media from people who don’t like the banner. We never want to cause upset, so it’s being changed.

“Anyone who’s followed us will know about our efforts to have positive social impacts on the communities where we work.

Read more: The neglected Moss Side ginnel that’s been turned into a plant-filled art gallery

“From building new homes and creating inclusive neighbourhoods, to actively supporting those most in need by working with frontline homeless charities.”

A Manchester City Council spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of an advertising banner installed by Capital and Centric in the Piccadilly area.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We understand that this banner was not intended to cause offence and they have agreed to remove it.

“Capital and Centric play an important role in the city’s development, working with a number of voluntary and community organisations in this area, and have apologised for any unintentional upset caused by this marketing campaign.”

Featured image: The Manc Group