No phone sex please - we are Estonian!

Tallinn - Owners of erotic telephone chat services in Estonia are complaining of drooping customer interest, which even up-front advertising has been unable to revive, a report in Eesti Paevaleht daily newspaper said on Tuesday.

Reval Marketing, one of the biggest owners of sex chat lines in the northernmost of the Baltic states, has been in the red for most of the recent past and has started looking for new fields of activity - such as working as business consultants for foreign investors - in order to survive, the paper said.

"A meagre income has forced us to expand into other areas," a spokesperson said.

"The owners of sex lines, which upset many late-night TV viewers with their lurid advertising, refuse to say how many calls they receive," the newspaper reported.

The advertisements on television show semi-clad, well-endowed women wriggling on the screen and pleading to viewers to call up and "ask anything".

A spokesperson for Reval said callers ask "different things", including how to bake a cake.

"But of course they do speak on intimate topics," the spokesperson said.

Chat line advertising has brought loud criticism from many Estonian TV viewers, but the consumer protection association has ruled that the advertisements do not qualify as obscene and can be run on commercial channels.

Intervention by the consumer protection association has brought one change, however, with the chat line ads only allowed to run after 11pm.


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