"Cheaters never prosper." We've all heard that old chestnut before, but you might not be familiar with a new twist on that. Web sites promoting cheating on your spouse do prosper, although money isn't enough for them to do business with the National Football League.
AshleyMadison.com, a dating site that matches married people interested in having affairs, signed a six-figure contract to purchase ad space in the Super Bowl game program last month. The ad, featuring a ton of cleavage obscuring a football helmet, asks "Who are you doing after the game?"
When news of that purchase made its way to the NFL offices, though, it was met with a sour face and a rejection. Noel Biderman, CEO of the site, told CNBC's Darren Rovell that he was told the company would never be allowed to advertise in an NFL publication.
"I find the rejection to be ridiculous given that a huge percentage of the NFL's marketing content is for products like alcohol, which they sell in their stadiums, promote on their air and clearly have in the magazine," Biderman said. "That's a product that literally kills tens of thousands of people each year. So if the NFL is worried about legislating behavior and regulating what their audience should be exposed to then it should start with a ban on all alcohol advertising and products being sold, not AshleyMadison.com."
The whole "NFL is hyprocritical" angle is a dog that just ain't gonna hunt. Of course they're hypocritical. They fine players for big hits while using those hits to promote their game as gladiatorial combat. They promote character and values while finding place for Pacman Jones and, yes, they promote alcohol use even though it leads to all sorts of terrible things.
If any of those decisions hurt their business one bit, they'd start doing the opposite. That's the way business works. The NFL can be pretty sure that refusing to do business with AshleyMadison.com won't lead to criticism from anyone but Mr. Biderman, so there's no reason for them to enter into the arrangement.