Website creator fears sex-themed site may confuse customers

The owner of a popular Newfoundland and Labrador classifieds website is concerned that people will confuse his site with a similarly-named sex-based website.

Creator of NLclassifieds shocked by similarly-named adult website

Kirby Jacobs, the owner of the popular website, said he was shocked to learn about, a portal for sexual services. (CBC )

The creator of a popular Newfoundland and Labrador ad website is concerned that people will confuse it with a similarly-named sex-based site.

Kirby Jacobs, the man behind, said he was shocked to learn about the website, a portal for both escorts and the public to connect.

The site was brought to light in a recent CBC Investigates series into the local sex trade.

"When I turned on the news and I saw it, I was in shock, because it was the first time that I have seen it, and it was obviously just a take on the branding that we have done over the years," he said.

Jacobs said staff with NLclassifieds work hard to ensure adult-type ads don't appear on the site.

"We have a bunch of moderators who are continuously reviewing ads throughout the day and throughout the evening," he said.

Jacobs said NLclassifieds is doing well, with up to 50,000 visitors each day. He has been growing business on his site for more than eight years.

But he's worried the adult site is taking advantage of his work and could harm the reputation of his business.

"The name is similar. We've put a lot of effort into branding NLclassifieds and building our reputation over the years," he said. "Obviously, because it is NLadultclassifieds – I mean, they just slipped 'adult' in between – we are afraid that a lot of people are going to associate us (with them)."

Jacobs said he believes there may be a trademark infringement, and he has spoken with a lawyer.

Norm Lush, the creator of NLadultclassifieds, hasn't responded to interview requests from CBC News.