Everyone who enjoys NFL football games knows they're going to be sitting through an avalanche of those awkward ads for erectile-dysfunction drugs, and ads soaked in sex and violence selling new movies or prime-time TV shows. Despite this barrage, the NFL has managed to show some standards, believe it or not.
They refused a Super Bowl commercial from the website AshleyMadison.com because of its unusual product, a dating service for married people who want to commit adultery -- or as they strangely describe it, they enable "married dating." Their slogan is "Life's short. Have an affair."
But this Home Wreckers Incorporated found a way around the NFL, such as airing local ads during the Super Bowl on NBC-affiliated KPRC in Houston. CEO Noel Biderman boasted in a press release that he ran his new female-targeted commercial because "In Texas, men love their football, and women love to cheat!" He also claimed Texas is his company's fastest growing market with over 200,000 members signed up in the last two years.
The commercial is blunt. A husband is cartoonishly ignoring and mistreating his wife at a restaurant on their anniversary. A female announcer says: "Have you ever found yourself on a really bad blind date? Now imagine that date lasting the rest of your life. Isn't it time for AshleyMadison.com?"
Despite the ad's message, this is not really an enterprise for unhappy wives. As a female San Francisco sex columnist reported as she tried out the website, Biderman "had told me when I interviewed him that a woman didn't even need a photo or any personal info in her profile to get 20 potential affair buddies arriving on her digital doorstep. I guess I should have believed him. Within minutes of logging in, I had a stream of instant messages from men in the Bay Area."
Ashley Madison's entire business model is shameless denial. Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page on their website. When they ask themselves if they encourage infidelity, they brazenly lie: "No, Ashley Madison does not encourage anyone to stray ... Providing a service like ours does not make someone more likely to stray any more than increasing the availability of glassware contributes to alcoholism."
This answer begins about an inch below their omnipresent slogan "Life's short, have an affair."