BT embarrassed over adverts

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The Independent Online
British Telecom has been ordered to reconnect the telephone lines of prostitutes who advertise their numbers by placing calling cards in phone kiosks.

In an attempt to stop the proliferation of advertisements for sexual services, BT joined forces with Westminster City Council and other telephone providers last August to block incoming calls to numbers listed on the cards.

But the Office of Fair Trading ruled yesterday that the agreement between the telephone providers breached competition laws because it had not been registered in advance. A BT spokesman described the ruling as a "blip" and said the company was now re-registering the move with the OFT and would start its policy of disconnection again soon.