|Slogan||Life is short. Have an affair.|
Type of site
|Online dating service
Social network service
|Available in||Chinese (simplified, traditional and Singaporean), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazilian and European), Spanish (European and Latin American), Swedish|
|Users||Over 22 million (as of October 2013[update])|
|Owner||Avid Life Media|
|3,112 (October 2013[update])|
Ashley Madison is an online dating service and social networking service marketed to people who are already in a relationship, whose slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair." The website was launched in 2001. The name of the site was created from two popular female names, "Ashley" and "Madison".
|North America||Canada, USA, Mexico|
|Europe||United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Finland, Norway|
|Oceania||Australia, New Zealand|
|Asia||Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea|
The company announced plans to launch in Singapore in 2014. However, the Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) announced that it will not allow Ashley Madison to operate in Singapore as it promotes adultery and disregards family values.
In response to the ban in Singapore, CEO Noel Biderman told online tech publication e27 that he thinks prohibitions will always backfire. He said, "It’s not too conservative, it’s not too challenging. I think this is a anomaly. We have had success in Japan and Hong Kong. We will have success in Taiwan and Korea. We will find a way to bring this to the Philippines and Thailand. And ultimately, I genuinely believe Ashley Madison will be available to anyone in Singapore who wants to access it. I really believe that."
In 2009, NBC refused an ad submitted by Ashley Madison for the network's broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII. Biderman described the refusal as ridiculous, saying the National Football League's demographic was a core audience for the site, promising to find some way to publicize it.
In December 2009, Ashley Madison attempted to purchase C$200,000 worth of advertising on Toronto Transit Commission streetcars. The plan was rejected after five of the six committee members voted against it. If approved, 10 streetcars would have been skinned with Ashley Madison's slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair." The TTC commissioner showed displeasure with the ads, stating: "When it's a core fundamental value around cheating or lying, we’re not going to let those kinds of ads go on." After the deal was rejected, Biderman offered to subsidize ticket prices by 25 cents if the deal went through. This would have reduced the ticket rate to C$2.50. The offer was declined.
Bids for sports sponsorships
On February 22, 2010, the company approached the city of Phoenix, Arizona with an offer of $10 million to rename the Sky Harbor Airport to Ashley Madison International Airport for a five-year period, noting the city was in financial trouble. Phoenix rejected the offer.
In October 2011, Ashley Madison offered the Italian basketball club Virtus Roma a jersey sponsorship deal worth €1.5 million, much of which would supposedly be spent on returning locked-out NBA player Andrea Bargnani to his homeland. A Roman Catholic priest, Msgr. Flavio Capucci called the proposal "a betrayal of the value and identity of sport". The player himself denied any role in the deal.
Ashley Madison offers a guarantee that you will "find someone": "we GUARANTEE that you will successfully find what you’re looking for or we'll give you your money back" However, the guarantee is so restricted by conditions—one must buy the most expensive package, send "priority" (more expensive) messages to 18 unique members each month for three months, send 5 Ashley Madison gifts per month, and engage in 60 minutes of (paid) chat per month,—that it is very difficult to qualify for. Compounding the problem is that "more men than women use the service, with the disparity increasing as they advance in age," and "Men seek sex, while women seek passion." This is not revealed to prospective users. It is obvious from a page on the Ashley Madison site itself that many men feel "ripped off."
According to one source 74 percent of Ashley Madison's users have a college degree, while only 32 percent of Americans do.
Trish McDermott, a consultant who helped found Match.com, accused Ashley Madison of being a "business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages, and damaged families". Biderman responded by stating that the site is "just a platform" and a website or a commercial will not convince anyone to commit adultery. According to Biderman, affairs help preserve many marriages.
In 2012, the company was sued by former employee Doriana Silva, who stated that in preparation for the launch of the company's Portuguese-language website, she was assigned to create over a thousand bogus member profiles within a three-week period in order to attract paying customers, and that this caused her to develop repetitive stress injury. The lawsuit claimed that as a result Doriana "developed severe pain in her wrists and forearms", and has been unable to work since 2011. Ashley Madison countersued, alleging fraud. The company claimed that Doriana Silva had been photographed skiing, an activity that was unlikely for someone who had suffered serious injury to the hands and forearms. Ashley Madison later alleged further that Doriana Silva had kept confidential documents and sought to retrieve them. In 2015, the Ontario Superior Court dismissed the case without costs, a result that Avi Weisman, vice-president and general counsel for Ashley Madison’s parent company Avid Life Media, said the company was "very pleased" with.
Unlike Match.com or eHarmony, AshleyMadison's business model is based on credits rather than monthly subscriptions. For a conversation between two members, one of the members—almost always the man—must pay five credits to initiate the conversation. Any follow up messages between the two members are free after the communication has been initiated. AshleyMadison also has a real time chat feature that is metered. Credits are utilised to pay for a certain time allotment of chat. Women can send "collect" messages to men, but men can not send them to women.
Unless they know how to opt out of the 'Ashley's Angels' feature, the site's Terms and Conditions say that users who have not yet paid the site any money ('Guest' accounts) may get computer generated messages from fictitious profiles that "are NOT conspicuously identified as such". These may cost money to respond to. The site says this feature is "to provide entertainment".
The site also charges money to delete accounts, although they may be hidden for free.
- Illicit Encounters, UK online dating website for married people
- Comparison of online dating websites
- Woo, Jacqueline (October 23, 2013). "Business of ruining marriages". My Paper. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
The dating website that facilitates extramarital affairs between married individuals plans for a launch in Singapore next year, My Paper understands. The Canada-based website has over 21 million users worldwide. Its slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair." Ashley Madison has already expanded to other Asian countries and territories such as Japan, and, more recently, Hong Kong in August.
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It’s not too conservative, it’s not too challenging. I think this is an anomaly. We have had success in Japan and Hong Kong. We will have success in Taiwan and Korea. We will find a way to bring this to the Philippines and Thailand. And ultimately, I genuinely believe Ashley Madison will be available to anyone in Singapore who wants to access it. I really believe that.
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