Paris seeks ban on ‘sugar daddy’ dating website

The Paris mayor’s office is trying to ban a new dating website for wealthy men seeking to meet younger partners, which has been accused of inciting students to prostitute themselves.

FILE: Picture: pixabay.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The Paris mayor’s office is trying to ban a new dating website for wealthy men seeking to meet younger partners, which has been accused of inciting students in the French capital to prostitute themselves.

A trailer hired by the website “richmeetbeautiful” has been widely condemned on social media after it was parked in the 5th district of Paris, home to the Sorbonne University.

According to news agency AFP, the ad read “hey students!”, “romantic, passionate and no student loans”, “go out with a sugar daddy or sugar mama”.

The text appeared next to a picture of a man, considerably younger and less wrinkled than the intended users of the website, whispering suggestively into the ear of a woman.

The Norwegian-based website ran into similar problems last month with a campaign in Brussels where authorities also launched a prostitution probe and impounded posters.

In an interview with FRANCE 24’s Observers website last month, a former student who had used a similar dating website spoke candidly about why such platforms might appeal to cash-strapped students, describing them as “money-making schemes”.

The man behind the website, Norwegian Sigurd Vedal, has denied that it promotes prostitution.

He told Belgian broadcaster VTM that young women were looking for “something more than just appearance” from older men, citing the values of mentoring and “meaningful mental stimulation”.

His website is present in several European countries, and has come under fire almost everywhere it set foot.