• 05.31.13

Street Art-Style Ads Remind Us (And Johns): That Prostitute Is Someone’s Mother

A new series of Argentinian outdoor ads cleverly reminds potential johns that most prostitutes are actually working mothers. You have to see both sides of the corner for the full experience, though.

It’s common to refer to prostitutes as women working on a street corner. Perhaps this is because those corners make good places both to advertise their services and to look out for any encroaching police. A series of outdoor ads has surfaced in Argentina, though, that works the corners to help us see prostitutes through a different lens.


El 86% de las trabajadoras sexuales somos madres.
Necesitamos una ley que regule nuestro trabajo.

86% of sex workers are mothers.
We need a law to regulate our work.

The organization AMMAR, which promotes awareness of the basic human rights of sex workers, recently launched a new campaign to remind potential johns that these women are often also mothers. The initiative involves Banksy-style wheat-pasted street art on the corners of buildings. On one side, there’s a foxy lady dressed provocatively; the perpendicular side reveals that she is holding the hand of her own offspring.

The accompanying copy translates to: “86% of sex workers are mothers. We need a law to regulate our work.”

Created by Ogilvy & Mather, Buenos Aires, the ads are intended to bring regulation and respect to a profession that can often victimize its workers.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.