A campaign has been launched by the Immigrant Council of Ireland that utilises the matchmaking mobile app Tinder to confront users with the realities of sex trafficking in this country.
Developed by digital advertising agency eightytwenty, a large number of Tinder profiles have been created that tell example stories of victims. The profiles appear genuine at first, but as users swipe through each picture, they see the impact of sex trafficking and messages relating to the issue.
According to eightytwenty, the initiative has attracted a large number of comments from users who are shocked upon learning about the harsh truths of sex trafficking in a modern society. “This is the first use of Tinder in Ireland for a campaign of this nature and one of the first globally," said performance marketing and data director Cathal Gillen. "Tinder has become an extremely popular app in Ireland, and it provides us with a unique, innovative and stand out way of communicating to men the issues faced by women involved in sex trafficking.”
Gardaí estimate that the Irish prostitution trade – which they say is run by foreign and domestic criminal gangs – nets over €200m a year. The Immigrant Council have supported 60 women who were brought to this country to be sexually exploited.
“Sex trafficking is one of the most lucrative crimes with the sums involved on a par with those for drug smuggling and gun running, yet many people are not aware that it is a reality in communities right across Ireland," said Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigrant Council.
Eightytwenty is also known for its Chrome plug-in called Garth Blocks that rids the internet of all references to the country crooner. The firm released the app during the height of the Brooks summer saga when five Croke Park concerts featuring the singer were called off after Dublin authorities would not license all shows.
Tinder, meanwhile, has announced the launch of a premium subscription service which is due to be rolled out this month.
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