Ashley Madison

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Ashley Madison
Web address
Slogan Life is short. Have an affair.
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Online dating service
Social network service
Registration Yes
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)[1]
Owner Avid Life Media
Launched 2001[2]
Alexa rank
3,112 (October 2013)[3]
Current status Active

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."[4] The website was launched in 2001.[2][5] The name of the site was created from two popular female names, "Ashley" and "Madison".[4]


Ashley Madison is a membership website and service based in Canada; its supposed membership of over 22 million members[1] come from 30 countries:

Location Countries
North America Canada, USA,[6] Mexico[7]
Europe United Kingdom,[6] Ireland,[8] Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, France,[6] Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Finland, Norway[6]
Oceania Australia,[9] New Zealand[6]
Africa South Africa[10]
Asia Hong Kong,[1] Israel, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea

The company announced plans to launch in Singapore in 2014.[1] 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.[11]

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."[12]


Ashley Madison advertises with TV commercials, billboards, and radio ads by the CEO, Noel Biderman.[4]

In 2009, NBC refused an ad submitted by Ashley Madison for the network's broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII.[13] 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.[13]

In December 2009, Ashley Madison attempted to purchase C$200,000 worth of advertising on Toronto Transit Commission streetcars.[14] 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."[14] 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."[15] 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.[14] The offer was declined.

Bids for sports sponsorships[edit]

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.[16][17]

In 2010, Ashley Madison made an offer for the naming rights to the New Meadowlands Stadium.[18] The offer was ignored, with Met Life eventually purchasing the naming rights.

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.[19][20]


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"[21] 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,[22]—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."[23] 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."[24]


According to one source 74 percent of Ashley Madison's users have a college degree, while only 32 percent of Americans do.[25]


Trish McDermott, a consultant who helped found, 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.[4][26] According to Biderman, affairs help preserve many marriages.[27]


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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30]

Business model[edit]

Unlike 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"[clarification needed] messages to men, but men can not send them to women.[31]

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".[32]

The site also charges money to delete accounts, although they may be hidden for free.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d 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. 
  2. ^ a b Pearson, Patricia. "The Two-Timers Club". [1]. Archived from the original on 21 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  3. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  4. ^ a b c d Daum, Meghan (2001-01-10). "Ashley Madison's secret success". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 15 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  5. ^ ABC News. "When Cheating On Your Spouse Is Business". [2]. Archived from the original on 9 November 2004. Retrieved 2004-10-21. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Ashley Madison". Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  7. ^ Reuters (June 6, 2012). "Mexican presidential candidate becomes poster boy for infidelity". NBC News. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  8. ^ "I got married three months ago. Then last month, I logged on to an infidelity website". 11 October 2010. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  9. ^ Robinson, Georgina (2010-04-13). "Ashley Madison site launches in Australia". Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  10. ^ "There is no typical SA cheater". Times LIVE. 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  11. ^ "MDA will block access to Ashley Madison website". Channel NewsAsia. November 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ Huang, Elaine (November 25, 2013). "11 titillating minutes with Ashley Madison renders me impressed". e27 access date=2014-2-4. 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. 
  13. ^ a b Hill, Catey (2009-01-29). "Banned! These ads are too racy for the Super Bowl". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  14. ^ a b c Peat, Don (2009-12-11). "TTC dumps Ashley Madison". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  15. ^ Edwards, Jim (2009-12-16). "No Streetcars Named Desire: Toronto Bans Adultery Ads on Public Transit". Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  16. ^ Wong, Scott (2010-02-22). "Phoenix rejects $10M offer from infidelity Web site". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  17. ^ Fisher, Katie (2010-02-23). "Risque website offers $10 million for Sky Harbor name change". ABC15. Archived from the original on 25 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  18. ^ "NFL Stadium Offered $25M to Promote Adultery". 2010-05-30. Archived from the original on 11 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  19. ^ "Andrea Bargnani: Don't Believe the Hype About Virtus Roma, Ashley Madison, and Me". ESPN TrueHoop Network. 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  20. ^ "Vatican and Opus Dei hostile to AshleyMadison as Virtus Roma sponsor". 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  21. ^ "Is Ashley Madison a scam? Is Ashley Madison a fraud?", retrieved 2014-08-17
  22. ^
  23. ^ Niv Elis, "Cheating on your spouse in Israel just got easier," "Jerusalem Post," May 22, 2014,
  24. ^ "Is Ashley Madison a scam? Is Ashley Madison a fraud?,", retrieved 2014-08-17
  25. ^ Max Ehrenfreund, "The Economics of Adultery," "Washington Post," May 1, 2014,
  26. ^ Caplan, Jeremy (2008-06-28). "Cheating 2.0: New Mobile Apps Make Adultery Easier". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  27. ^ Elaine Huang, "11 titillating minutes with Ashley Madison renders me impressed," "E27" November 25, 2013
  28. ^ Woman hurt typing fake profiles for dating site, $20M suit alleges, at CityNews; by Paola Loriggio; published 10 November 2013; retrieved 13 April 2013
  29. ^ Ashley Madison Says Woman Who Alleges She Hurt Her Wrists Writing Fake Profiles Later Rode A Jet Ski, at Business Insider; by Jim Edwards, published 11 November 2013; retrieved 13 April 2015
  30. ^ Lawsuit against dating site for married people seeking affairs dismissed, at The Globe And Mail; published 18 Jan 2015; retrieved 13 April 2015
  31. ^ "What is a Collet message,", retrieved 2014-08-17
  32. ^ a b "Ashley Madison Terms _Conditions". Cyprus: Ashley Madison. 2013-10-21. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 

External links[edit]