New Ashley Madison TV ads try to rebrand affairs

According to Ashley Madison, a dating site that made its name by facilitating affairs, there’s no such thing as “having an affair.” Instead, people just find “moments.” With people other than their spouses. On purpose.

Ashley Madison released three new TV ads, set to air this week, that paint affairs in a more sympathetic light. Weirdly, none of them actually feature anyone using Ashley Madison. Instead, they show white couples plodding through their unhappy lives and marriages before having a meet-cute. They also expand into threesome territory, with a married couple picking up a waitress.

After a massive data leak from the company last year, and a general feeling of unease about a company with the tagline “life is short, have an affair,” Ashley Madison has been trying to rebrand. “Ashley Madison today is about so much more than infidelity, it’s about all kinds of adult dating,” the site reads. “In fact, a large number of our millions of members around the globe are singles drawn to the site because they want the kind of discretion Ashley Madison has been synonymous with for over a decade.” 

It’s not like people aren’t using Tinder for affairs and threesomes. But affairs are how Ashley Madison made its name—even if it rebrands infidelity is still a big part of the business model.

The thing about marriage is that it’s entirely optional. Of course, if people realized that instead of cheating on their spouses they could a) have a frank and open conversation about monogamy and maybe adjust their relationship expectations or b) get a divorce, Ashley Madison might be out of business. 

H/T the Cut

Jaya Saxena

Jaya Saxena

Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'