Threatening marriages for a fast buck

Last year I joined a campaign against an advert for a website facilitating marital infidelity. Now marital infidelity is not illegal; at least insofar as it is not criminal. But it is a breach of contract with the person to whom one has promised to “forsake all others”.

As part of the campaign, 420 people complained to the ASA, ranking the advert among the most controversial of 2010 (measured by volume  of complaints).

The ASA complaints were rejected, but after just a few days we persuaded the website to withdraw its advertising. It may have determined that the publicity generated through our campaign generated all the attention it needed.

For more background, see my two blog posts on the campaign, Uncomplicated Adult Fun and Extraordinary Influence. As a sidebar, the former drew a lot of traffic when I posted the title on Facebook. I wonder what you expected to find!

Now, on the same platform (White Label Dating), a new website, with the same raison d’être, is advertising on British streets.

A new website promoting marital infidelity
The best solution to the challenge of marriage? (web address cropped)

So it’s back to campaigning again. White Label Dating is owned and managed by Global Personals, and that’s where our campaign is focused. If you want to get involved, please follow the campaign steps suggested here by Jon Kuhrt.

I note that Global Personals was recently shortlisted for a Blackberry Growth Strategy award. I’m sure their growth rate has been impressive, but for me a company’s value is about more than just its bottom line.

Through its dating websites, Global Personals has given birth to many positive relationships, and that is to be commended.

But a quick web search raises a big question mark over how reputable the company really is. There seem to be many unsatisfied customers of its dating sites; they raise important questions about the integrity of the business. In my view, websites which prey on vulnerable marriages should have no place in the revenue stream of any reputable business.

‘An ethical approach to business’ is one of the criteria for the Blackberry Growth Strategy award. The National Business Awards will need to consider this as they select their winner.


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