Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If you thought eHarmony ads were creepy, hold on...

Frequent readers know I am a former New Yorker, that I grew up not far from NYC and that nothing this area can through at me really throws me for a loop. Sex shows on public access? Whatever. A woman on the 7 Train yelling at a man that he should love her so much that he "should pre-ejaculate" as soon as he hears her name? Maybe a bit much on a train with kids after a Mets game, but, again... it's New York.

So, it was very jarring to hear an ad this morning on K-Rock while driving to Connecticut that seems to cross every line.

As a PR guy, I cannot believe I'm even blogging about this b/c if I'm talking about it, most likely others are as well... spreading word-of-mouth. And they do not deserve word of mouth. Even though a Google News search shows they barely need my help to raise awareness.

Who is this I am discussing? The fine folks at Ashley Madison. I will not link to them, though it won't be hard to find the Web site if you are so motivated.

Ashley Madison is an online dating service. For married people.

And at 8:59 a.m. this morning on 92.3 on your NYC radio dial they had an ad on talking about how for "only" $49.95 you can, how did they say it? Oh yes, "have a little something on the side." The ad noted that "money cannot buy happiness. Unless it's $49.95." Basically, the way this works, is you post an anonymous profile with pictures and you, I don't know, troll around for harlots of both sexes.

The ad closed up with something along the lines of "if your marriage is great everywhere but the bedroom, here you go."

Holy. Shit.

I barely know where to begin here, so I will take several tacts:

  • Oh my God! First of all, if you're miserable in your marriage, get off your sad-sack ass, man-up and TALK about it with your spouse. You might - GASP! - work it out! I know... call me a revolutionary. And here's the thing, if you really want to mess around with other people while you're married, you probably are best to have the talk. Best case: it all works out and you live happily ever after. Worst case: you're single and can go hook up with whoever guilt free (though, don't call me when your therapy bills come in). Point is, as I have always contended, there is no reason to cheat. It never "just happens." "Just happens" is a lame excuse for people who didn't know when to tell themselves to stop before they became so inebriated that the HAD to go home with him/her for his/her own safety. Lord.
  • OK, so this site is simply a business, providing a service for which people are willing to pay. There is nothing illegal on the Web site's part. But... it's a completely unethical business! And yes, that matters. You know how you don't want to buy clothes made from workers in a sweatshop? That's b/c sweatshops are unethical! Although technically legal in some parts of the world, sweatshop labor not only devalues human life, it kills our economy because it's cheaper to pay sweatshop workers than Americans. So you don't buy that stuff. Unethical. A bar that would only let alcoholics in would do a gangbusters business, but that wouldn't make it a business you would want to support. This Web site is also unethical. Why should a different standard apply?
  • This is just an observation, but warrants mentioning. Since high school, I've known/heard about people getting cheated on. To date, people who have wanted to cheat on their spouses/partners haven't appeared to have any real trouble doing so. So, I guess if I always said you had to be stupid to cheat, you must be extra-special stupid to PAY to cheat! I don't have any experience here, so if anyone wants to comment anonymously on what the advantages are to paying for an illicit affair, please, I'm all eyes.
I could probably go on. And I hope you have some wisdom to add, too. Apparently, there are more than 2.5 million people who have signed up, so you never know...


Andy Wride said...

The TV ads are even scarier. There I am watching Countdown with Olberman on MSNBC and on they come. And i saw it about 4 times before i figured out what it was selling, but you're right. Wow. A classy, classy site.

I think there's something to the power of suggestion at work with this site. Your point about cheating being an ever present social phenomenon since Hike School is not lost on me. But how much of that is because the opportunity was there? The point of this site: the opportunity is there for everyone... for $50 a month anyway. And just like real life, it won't "just happen" til you pay up and sign in.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would like to comment on your point #3 - i concur. i have cheated, and never did i have trouble acquiring a partner in cheatery, and i certainly didn't have to spend $49.99 to get someone to do me.

i'm jus' sayin'...