Eros has been working for some time now on a scheme to keep Classification Liaison Officers out of adult shops and last week the scheme swung into action.
As we all know, adult shops are still raided on a regular basis. The police come into your shop and allege that they have information from the Federal Attorney General’s Department, that unclassified films and publications are being sold from the premises. The information they have always comes in the form of a letter from one of three Classification Liaison Officers (now ironically called Compliance and Education Officer) based in Sydney. These public servants plan surveillance trips around the country lasting between a few days and a few weeks. They enter shops clandestinely without introducing themselves and make discreet notes about the material for sale in the shop and then compile a report and send it to the local police. If these reports do not go out, then the local police have no reason to bust the shop.
A prosecution for unclassified films and publications can cost a store up to $20,000 with fines, court and lawyers costs and re stocking of the shop after police confiscate material.
Last week, Eros hired a process-server to visit the Classification Board’s offices in Surry Hills Sydney and serve a notice on Ron Robinson and two other officers. The notice effectively spelled out the legal reasons behind our demand that they do not enter Eros member’s shops ever again without with seeking permission. The notice warned them of swift legal action against them personally, if they are found to be on our member’s premises or if they dob themselves in as having been on the premises via a report to police.
The notice told the officers how to specifically identify an Eros member shop through current stickers and authorised use of the Eros logo on the shop. They were also issued with a specially made book each that identified current Eros members with their addresses and even a map. As per our legal advice, we have also prepared a phone app with paid up Eros members on it and the three Compliance & Education officers will be given a copy of the app next week.
We are confident that this will stop members’ shops being visited and that CLS officers will have to move on to other shops to conduct their work.
As this campaign has cost us quite a lot in legal and IT fees, members should be vigilant about keeping their fees current for their shops. If reminder invoices are not paid, then that shop will fall off the phone app and the book that CLS officers will be supplied with and so will your protection from prosecution.
We would like to receive feedback and of course if you do notice a CLS officer in your shop, please call us immediately so we can begin an action earlier.
It is vitally important that your store displays a current 2014 member sticker (Joel has noticed some members still displaying their expired 2013 stickers), please contact the office immediately to arrange the 2014 stickers to be sent to you.
The phone app also plays another completely different role and members can use it to advertise their businesses free of charge. The app will soon be getting national promotion so if you’d like to expand your listing on it please call or email Eros business manager, Joel Murray.