A child advocacy group is calling for changes amidst accusations a website is promoting human trafficking.
A new public service announcement will air online and on television to convince the website backpage.com to remove its adult section.
The short video features a teenaged actor portraying the story of victim.
"My pimp advertised me online at backpage.com," said the actress.
"We are seeing our office filling up with girls who are being exploited and that's what's really behind it for us," said Andrea Powell of the group FAIR Girls, the backer of the effort.
There is a Colorado connection.
Four men were arrested after a human trafficking ring was busted in January. The attorney general said the website helped to arrange the transactions.
The website it owned by Village Voice Media -- parent company of Denver's Westword.
According to an analysis by the trade organization AIM Group, Backpage.com is the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising, generating an estimated $2.6 million monthly, or $27.4 million annually, from the sale of online escort ads.
"Backpage has made the trafficking of girls its business model. We must call for the end of any business venture that profits from the exploitation of vulnerable children," said Malika Saada Saar, Executive Director of the Human Rights Project for Girls, a human rights organization dedicated to protecting the rights of vulnerable young women and girls in the U.S.
Since August 2011, 51 of the nations attorneys general, 700 multi-faith religious leaders, 53 leading anti-trafficking experts and organizations, 19 U.S. Senators, state and city lawmakers around the country, over a dozen prominent musicians, nearly a quarter of a million citizens, and others have called on Village Voice Media to exit the adult ad business.
"While the aim of FAIR Girls to rescue victims and stop the sex trafficking of young women is laudable, the devotion of significant resources to an ad campaign dedicated to a non-solution is unfortunate," said spokeswoman Liz McDougall, with Village Voice Media.
She said the website already asks for credit card numbers and has cooperated with police in the past.
"While they say they're making efforts in screening ads, we respect that, it's clearly not working," said Powell.
FAIR Girls Ad
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