Craigslist's CEO has launched an attack against South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, after receiving criticism for its online erotic ads and accusations that it had been engaged in criminal acts.

Buckmaster published a statement in a company blog that addressed McMaster on Monday, saying the prosecutor's threat to file prostitution charges against the company was unreasonable and unfair.

Many prominent companies, including AT&T, Microsoft, and Village Voice Media, not to mention major newspapers and other upstanding South Carolina businesses feature more 'adult services' ads than does craigslist, some of a very graphic nature, Buckmaster writes.

He included Internet links to listings for escort services throughout South Carolina. Are you really prepared to condemn the executives of each of the mainstream companies linked above, and all the others that feature such ads, as criminals?

The PR offensive comes just days after McMaster vowed to initiate a criminal investigation against the online classified ads site for allegedly displaying prostitution ads and pornographic material.

Craigslist received criticism last month after Philip Markoff, 22, was accused of killing a New York City masseuse he met through the Web site. Markoff has also been accused of the armed robbery of another woman. He has pleaded not guilty.