UPDATED: Tour de France porn site wins Webby Award nomination

The Webby Awards - now in their seventh year - are the online Oscars. TourdeFrance.com is one of the five sites today nominated as one of the best sports sites in the world. Whilst it does carry results and looks tech, it's actually a vehicle for priv.com, a Gran Canaria-based porn portal. ASO, the organisers of the Tour de France, and owner of a perhaps less memorable URL, will not be best pleased by the mirror site's success so far.
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Hailed as "the online Oscars" by Time (May 13, 2002), The Webby Awards is the leading international award system for web sites. The awards are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a US-based organisation that includes over 480 members such as musician David Bowie, "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, The Body Shop president Anita Roddick, and Oracle chairman Larry Ellison.

This year's nominations for The Webby Awards were announced today in America. There are nominations for the best web sites in 30 categories, including Activism, Community, Film, News, Personal Web Sites, Politics, and Sport. But not porn.

On the surface, http://www.tourdefrance.com looks like a pukka news site, and it's excellently done, but the banner ads are for priv.com. Don't click on these banner ads if you wish your PC to remain free of full-on porn. Hmm, with free being an operative word: the site does not require credit card details before the sampler images load, although the user is eventually asked to download a porn software program.

Tourdefrance.com, and priv.com, are sites registered to Javier Garcia of Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria. BikeBiz.co.uk has emailed him to seek comments and has also informed VSO of the Webby nomination for a site they don't much care for.

Execs at the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences were emailed by BikeBiz.co.uk, asking whether their judges knew they were nominating a porn site.

Maya Draisin, executive director of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences

and president and co-founder of Webby Awards, Inc. thanked BikeBiz.co.uk for bringing the matter to her attention, and said:

"Since your email, we have been in contact with the Academy members in this category, and all were dismayed to realize that there seems to have been a URL change since they reviewed the site.

"We will be reposting the intended site URL, as soon as I get official confirmation from all five of which site they actually intended."

Later the same day, she emailed and said it had all been a terrible mistake:

"This is absolutely an URL error. I have now received confirmation that the intended site was: http://www.letour.fr

"This is being updated on the site. I really appreciate your bringing it to our attention."

The winners in each category in The Webby Awards will be announced in June. The other sites in the sports category include big-hitters such as ESPN.com, nba.com and the Official Site of The America's Cup. Casual observers might therefore have concluded that www.tourdefrance.com is the official VSO website.

Those given Webby Awards gongs put themselves forward for judging and pay $90 for each category entered. Bikebiz.co.uk is now checking whether VSO nominated their website for a Webby Award.

The official, no-porn-at-all Tour de France site is at http://www.letour.fr/indexus.html

http://www.webbyawards.com/.../nominees.html.

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