Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Sydney brothels offer 10% off for Catholic pilgrims

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A few weeks ago on this blog we told how market researchers were predicting a rise in custom at Sydney's brothels and strip clubs as Catholic pilgrims (and the Pope) descended on Sydney for World Youth Day.

Well, with that event beginning today one of our Australian readers has sent us an update – according to Melbourne newspaper The Age, Sydney's brothels have grabbed this commercial opportunity with both hands and offered Catholic pilgrims 10 per cent off whichever services they desire.

It was in The Age's "In brief" section, which unfortunately does not seem to make it on to the paper's website, but our reader kindly included the full story in his email:

"BROTHELS 10% off for pilgrims

IT'S proving difficult to prevent com­mercialisation of World Youth Day. Nearby brothels are reportedly offering 10% discounts to pilgrims on presentation of their WYD accreditation, while the Doncaster Hotel in Kensington, as the self-proclaimed "closest pub to the Pope", is running a "Pappy hour" with schooners available for $3.30.

They can hardly be blamed for cashing in, if the Catholic Church is not above commercialising the occasion. WYD merchandise includes coins, T-shirts, caps, stamps and minted memorabilia, all licensed by the church. Pilgrims are being encouraged to buy clothes lest people think them mere tourists. A catalogue exhorts them to purchase rosary beads with cruci­fixes made from West Australian iron ore and stainless steel WYD08 dog tags."

[Thanks Nigel]