Monday, August 04, 2008
I guess it's a natural occurrence when you're a global company, but some days it amazes me just how much ESPN is actually in the regular news. The latest "controversy" the "Leader" finds themselves mired in is with matchmaking company Ashley Madison. ESPN has asked its local affiliates to pull an ad for the dating website that matches potential adulterers with people willing to help them cheat on their spouse....
Amy Phillips, a spokeswoman for ESPN -- which is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News -- said that the sports channel has asked its local affiliates to stop running an ad for AshleyMadison.com, a Web site that connects would-be cheaters with potential mates.This is certainly an obvious choice for ESPN to make, and the alcohol angle is just asinine, so good for them. Other channels like Spike TV have pulled the ads as well, but you can still see the spots on Larry King Live and Anderson 360 in the near future as CNN hasn't decided to nix them or not yet. Good times America!
Phillips would not say why the channel decided to pull the ad.
Noel Biderman, the president of AshleyMadison.com, who learned of ESPN's decision from an ABCNews.com reporter, said he felt that "a double standard" had been applied to his company with respect to advertising.
He said ESPN is "inundated" with advertisements for alcohol, a product "responsible for health issues and ultimately death."
"Somehow I'm immoral and everything else is OK," he said.
AshleyMadison.com boasts a membership of more than 2.2 million. For $49, members can create profiles and send e-mails and instant messages to each other. A slogan on the company's homepage reads "Life is Short. Have an Affair."
The 35-second commercial shows an unhappy-looking man lying in bed alongside a snoring woman. As he gets up and leaves the bedroom, a narrator's voice declares, "Most of us can recover from a one-night stand with the wrong woman, but not when it's every night for the rest of our lives. Isn't it time for AshleyMadison.com?"
Extramarital Affair Ad Gets Axed (ABC News)