Mistake advertises massage therapist as sexual masseuse

On her website and in person, Trudie Harris says that she is trying to promote "wellness of mind, body, and spirit" through her massage therapy clinic.

"A lot of my business is people in pain. Tremendous pain," Harris said. "I work with children, I work with older people. I go to people's homes and into hospitals to do end of life care."

Harris has been a licensed massage therapist for 16 years. She works out of her home studio on Skyland Drive, but a couple of weeks ago, Harris discovered her entirely legitimate business is getting mixed in with some other services that might not be quite so -- respectable.

"I'm advertised as sex massage," Harris said. "Nude. Yeah, not very good."

Harris advertises on YP.com, formerly known as AT&T Advertising Solutions. It's sort of an online version of the Yellow Pages.

What Harris found is that her name and photo kept popping up near the top of the list when people were searching for what you'd have to say are sexual encounters.

"Nasty massage"? The results put Harris in the top ten.

"Massage Parlor"? Trudie Harris is right there at number one.

So it's not a massage parlor, is it?

"No it is not, thank you very much," Harris said. "I would not want to be listed under a massage parlor."

Harris contacted YP customer service, along with the City of Columbia, which issued her business license, the state Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation, and even the governor's office.

After that, some of those searches using suggestive wording no longer work. Others still do, and Harris says they lead not only to hers, but dozens of other completely above-board businesses such as doctors' offices, skin care clinics, and even a therapist who works at a YMCA.

"I'm speaking on behalf of reputable businesses also that are listed here," Harris said. "This is wrong too."

We spoke at length with a YP.com customer service representative. She told us company policy wouldn't allow her to discuss details of a customer's account with a third party, but she also suggested that any search containing the word "massage" could call up unintended results.

The representative also says YP has "very, very strict" rules on listings for adult services.

She promised the company would work with Trudie Harris to resolve her problems.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.