Wednesday, 5 January 2011

What Would I do?

At around 11am this morning, whilst eating my mid morning snack of Weetabix my mind went into over drive whilst watching This Morning with Phil and Holly. Usually full of good news stories and the odd fashion section presented by Jason Gardiner they ventured into the discussion of a number of websites offering a service to match married people actively seeking an affair.

One lady who used this service, for a number of years, was sat with her back to the camera as she wanted the hide her identity. Although how she was planning to convince people that it wasn’t her I have no idea! If one of my friends was on This Morning and I could hear their voice, see their hair and knew they weren’t at home I am sure even the dimmest of friends could work that out.

She explained how the service had helped her find a person to fulfil her sexual appetite as her husband couldn’t and that her relationship had in fact improved since she had joined the site.
The purpose of this blog however is not to assess this ladies relationship or condone or condemn the website itself, as it could be seen to be cashing in on something that is happening anyway, but instead to point out that this is a real life case of a moral dilemma that I have discussed in previous posts.

It got me pondering: What would I do if the PR agency I started to work for in July had this website as a client?

The feature was presented on this morning was essentially free advertising for this website and I am sure many people will have done the same as me and logged on to see what all the fuss was about. Oh and even if I wanted to join, which for the record – I don’t - I wouldn’t be able to because I’m not married!

I noted that the spokeswoman from the website was very calm and collected. Many people have said that it looked like she was wearing some sort of disguise, a blonde long haired wig and glasses. Is this because she doesn’t want to be recognised? Or create an impression? If however she wasn’t ‘in disguise’ and in fact looks like that all the time then I apologise! :-)

Just thought I would share my pondering with you all and also point out that if you are having an affair don’t go onto primetime morning television to be interviewed with Phil and Holly without disguising your voice or body, as unsurprisingly people will be able to recognise you from the back……


  1. I'm guessing this is the tabloid fodder dating agency Ashley Madison.

    I think every agency has it's line in the sand as to what it will or won't market but I can guarantee if they have a big PR/media budget, someone will take them on!

    I'd say the PR for this is relatively easy as it's so risque and controversial you're guaranteed a slot on This Morning / Lorraine Kelly et al so the watchers can be duly outraged.

    Have to say we've turned down some weird and wonderful jobs over the years, not quite in the vein of AM but things that didn't feel right with our family-friendly clients and I'm pretty certain that each of them convinced an agency to take on their marketing eventually!

  2. Hi Kay,

    Thank you for your comment :-)

    Yes it was interesting - I thought it was very clever the way that the site had sent a representative as they knew that it would act as essentially 'free advertising'. And the programme itself packaged it as a 'real life' story - one of those moments that as PR professional you can see how the agency/the site had pitched the idea to the programme...

    Your point of the fact that they would find someone to take them on if their budget is big enough is also interesting as in previous blog posts I explored the theme of ethics and morals in PR. I think you would enjoy them :-)

  3. Morals? In PR? Oxymoron alert. Just kidding.

    There are PR agencies springing up now that specialise in 'human interest' PR for 'real people' to sell their weird stories to Take a Break - My cat ate my mother-in-law type narratives.

    They wouldn't exist if there was no demand, so the magazines buy the stories and the consumers buy the magazines. Everyone wins, morals or not.