Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shame On You, Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison, the dating service for the married, has never been one to back down from controversy especially considering that is what their business model is founded on. But, when it comes to their advertising campaigns, well, that's where they really bring the big guns. While I think it's a sad marker of the times that this company even exists, it's not my duck, not my bottle. (Eh-hem, None of my fucking business)But their new ads depicting an overweight woman as "scary" are more than an obvious ploy for "any press is good press" controversy. They are downright exploitative and perhaps, um, illegal?? According to NY Daily News, the plus-sized model on the ads, Jaqueline, has come forward expressing outrage at an unauthorized use of her picture. What's the classy CEO of Ashley Madison, Neil Biderman's, response? "Best thing that could've happened to this woman." Biderman is defending the ads claiming Jaqueline is reaping the press benefits from the ad, bringing traffic to her own porn site. But, Biderman, I mean, really? What about the good old days when your billboards crowned Los Angeles' Sunset Blvd. with....

While the tastelessness does not surprise me, the blatant "Fuck-You" to all women, does. If you have the money to put advertisements like this out into the world, I think corporations should be held accountable for the psychological impact of such a dis-empowering message. Young girls, big and small, are seeing a picture of an overweight woman labeled "SCARY." And even if they cannot read, the word "Scare" is written in the style of a horror movie ad, with what looks like blood dripping from the letters. If people want to have affairs, fine, I don't care. Do I think you're a chicken shit to employ a discreet dating service to carry out your affair? Yes. But what I care about is the assault on body image, the body shaming message to promote sex, and the cavalier attitude of an asshole CEO who finds nothing wrong with these VERY harmful ads. Hey Biderman, what say we post post your picture with a giant DOUCHEBAG above your head?

1 comment:

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