I really try to avoid writing about married “dating” sites. Besides the obvious oxymoron, why give these yahoos any attention by blogging about them? My feeling about these (cough) business ventures is that they’re the lowest form of capitalism. They wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a market. If you want to cheat, you’ll seek their services. If you don’t want to cheat, they may as well be an ad for adult diapers or Chia Pets. They’re irrelevant.
Of course advertising is all about making us think we need something we previous considered irrelevant. Ron-co egg scramblers. BeDazzlers. Extramarital affairs.
At Ashley Madison, they’re selling affairs. “Life is short,” have one.
I’d prefer to change the conversation towards making cheating uncool than tilt at the corporate mindfuck over at AM. It’s like high fructose corn syrup. The Corn Refiners Association spent millions trying convince the world that HFCS was “natural” and delicious. A ragtag Facebook campaign and others convinced the public otherwise. Now HFCS is considered synonymous with cheap, processed, industrialized food. CRA grossly outspent its opponents, but failed. Despite CRA’s best efforts to normalize this shit, the public thinks “ew.”
I’d like to see the same thing happen with infidelity. All together now! EW!
Meanwhile, Ashley Madison is trying to normalize cheating. If you can stomach the ad above, note the singing douchebags shopping for women online, swiping profiles as if people were just something you put in your Amazon cart.
Kudos to the Australians who didn’t find the ad winsome. They complained.
I learned about this because a chump wrote to me to say her daughter, a law student in Sydney, argued to the ad council that the ad was degrading to wives and therefore discriminatory. (Frankly, it’s also discriminatory to men to assume they’re all assholes who want to cheat on their wives.)
The Australian Advertising Standards Board reconsidered its previous allowance and agreed that the ad was discriminatory.
Some of the received complaints:
“If men want to visit such websites that’s their choice but to target married men to entice them into adultery is uncalled for. This advertisement has the potential to destroy families and break up marriages it should not be allowed on TV no matter what time of day it is. It gives the idea that your wife is boring and to look elsewhere. This is a very dangerous commercial.”
“This ad is letting all men know that they can go and have an affair. Their logo is “Life is short. Have an affair”. And their ad has men singing that they want something better than my wife. I don’t want my children growing up thinking it is ok to cheat on their partners. It is wrong and I am disgusted by it.”
“The advert is inappropriate, highly immoral, disgusting and wrong, by promoting the act of cheating on your marriage partner. By encouraging dishonesty and immorality, it should not be approved by any television or other media channel, on the basis of gender discrimination. The ad is distasteful and offensive to any married woman and therefore does not promote a healthy marital relationship.”
AM responded to the criticism by saying anyone who took offense is just a “vocal minority.” Everyone else is in on the joke, apparently.
Well chumps, you might be a minority but keep being VOCAL.