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Entries in Dating Website (3)

Wednesday
May012013

Infidelity Dating Site Ashley Madison Uses Mark Sanford in Ad

Davis Turner/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Residents of Columbia, S.C., were greeted Tuesday with a new billboard advertising a dating website for married people, which featured an image of former South Carolina governor and admitted philanderer Mark Sanford.

The ad, spread across two stacked billboards, reads, "Next time use… AshleyMadison.com to find your 'running mate.'" Emblazoned in the ad is an image of Sanford, who is attempting to revive his political career with a bid for South Carolina's vacant 1st Congressional District seat. A special election is set for May 7.

Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman told ABC News that the controversial ad, created by him and his internal team, is meant as social commentary. He sees his campaign as a way to show that those who cheat on their spouses should not be made into pariahs.

"We are trying to get people to distinguish between capability, and what goes on in bedroom," Biderman said. "There are few voices speaking on behalf of those who are unfaithful. Once we found out [Sanford] was back in business, that's the story we want to attach ourselves to. We believe careers shouldn't be lost because you choose not to sustain monogamy."

Sanford made headlines in 2009 when it was revealed that instead of hiking the Appalachian Trail, as he had told staffers, he was in Buenos Aires with a woman who was not his wife. He later became engaged to her, after divorcing his wife, Jenny, and paid the largest ethics fine ever in South Carolina, $70,000.

Sanford's office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on the ad.

Sanford's is not the first story of infidelity that Ashley Madison has attached itself to. In the past, the company, which was created in Canada in 2002 and came to the U.S. in 2007, has winked at potential customers by hinting at the affairs of former President Bill Clinton, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and London Mayor Boris Johnson. Biderman sees the campaigns as successful.

"We thought this would be digested and talked about locally," he said. "But you see new membership that you didn't expect...sometimes we will be cemented further in the folklore of political unfaithfulness -- though the tail effect may not be there the next day."

For Biderman, part of the strategy of political ads is a means to further his brand as "the Kleenex of cheating." This effort at creating a household name out of his company hit a snag in 2009 when NBC banned an Ashley Madison ad from appearing during the Super Bowl. But Biderman was undeterred.

"If the NFL rejects an ad, we still find a way," he said. "American society is not there yet. Despite the fact that we stopped painting people with scarlet letters a long time ago. My role is to keep pushing this forward, so it becomes digestible."

As for Sanford's bid for a comeback, Biderman is rooting for him.

"I want him to win very badly. If I could find a way to help him accomplish that … It would be a testament for people to evaluate people on their skill set," he said. "If you took the unfaithful out of the equation, we would have very unsuccessful society."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun212012

NJ Woman Sues Matchmaking Service After Date of 'Horror'

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Jeanne McCarthy, 65, thought she would meet a "quality" man when she paid $7,000 for a professional matchmaking service.  Instead, she said she got one date with a man with three drunk driving convictions and an outstanding criminal warrant.

McCarthy is suing her local Lawrenceville, N.J., branch of Two of Us, a brick and mortar matchmaking service with 15 offices nationwide.  Instead of the online dating services, like eHarmony, Two of Us "promises to arrange 'matches' with another member for the purposes of arranging a dating relationship between those individuals."

Two of Us "would merely collect a fee from anyone who signed up and would simply match members at random," the suit states.

McCarthy, a technical writer living in New Jersey, learned of Two of Us through its advertising campaign and went to the local office for a consultation.  The advertising stated that the company screens its members and performs a criminal background check, according to McCarthy's lawsuit, filed on June 4 in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Mercer County.

She said she was told by a representative that "Two of Us would provide quality matches at the rate of one or two during every two-week period."

McCarthy and her attorney, David Knapp, declined to comment.

McCarthy is suing PMM Inc., which is doing business as Two of Us in Lawrenceville, for breach of contract, fraud and consumer fraud, and requests her money back plus unspecified punitive damages.  The suit states Two of Us breached their agreement by failing to "provide one or two matches over a two month period as promised and by failing to adequately evaluate and screen the matches" referred to her.

On Jan. 13, 2011, McCarthy signed up for a membership agreement for a non-refundable fee of $7,000.  The agreement states, "Two of Us provides for the initial member interview, member testing, background checks and overall evaluation and screening..."

But she said Two of Us provided "only two matches over a five month period which yielded only one date."

"To her horror, [McCarthy] determined that this one date involved a man with three drunk driving convictions and [an] outstanding criminal warrant in Arizona," the suit stated.

Her date was a 73-year-old widower from Arizona who told her he received the convictions after his wife died and was moving to New Jersey so he could get a driver's license, according to The Trentonian.

McCarthy wanted a man 58 to 67 years old with an active lifestyle like her, according to the newspaper.

McCarthy "terminated the agreement and demanded an immediate refund of her fee.  Despite repeated requests, [Two of Us] has refused to do so," the suit states.

Ethan Baker, Two of Us' vice president of operations and general counsel, said the company has not been served yet and could not comment on the specific allegations of the lawsuit.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr182011

Match.com to Begin Checking Users Against Sex Offender Database

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Just days after a California woman filed a lawsuit claiming a popular online dating site is responsible for her sexual assault, Match.com officials announced Sunday they will now start to screen users against a national sex offenders registry.

The move comes after a Match.com attorney said in a news conference last week that setting up a screening system wasn't possible.

Last week, the woman, publically identified only as Jane Doe, filed the civil lawsuit asking a court to force Match.com to install a sex offender screening system that checks a members' background when they register for the site.

The lawsuit had asked for a temporary restraining order that, if granted, would prevent new members from signing up for Match.com until such a program is instituted.

Jane Doe is described as an Ivy League graduate who works in film and television industry, according to her attorney, Mark Webb.

Webb said his client met a man on Match.com and "she had no reason to believe that he was a convicted sexual offender."

The lawsuit claims Jane Doe and the man went on a date that seemed to go well, but by the next date things turned violent.  The lawsuit said the man went to Jane Doe's home after they had dinner and he forced her to perform a sexual act.

Separate criminal rape charges are still pending in a Los Angeles court.

According to Webb, the suspect has a violent history that includes sex assault cases that should have been caught by Match.com before he was allowed to post a profile on the site.

Webb said since Match.com is a successful website, they should have the resources to install a system that could verify that a user is not a sexual predator.

Webb said his client is not asking for money in the current lawsuit but instead to trigger a change in the world of online dating.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio