A Philosopher's Blog

Affairs, Ads and Ethics

Posted in Ethics by Michael LaBossiere on January 16, 2009

While the quintessential Superbowl ad is about beer, the folks in charge of approving the advertising have started taking what might appear to be a moral stand. To be specific, they are refusing to accept advertising from  from Ashley Madison.

Ashley Madison is an online dating service for married people. As such, it is a service intended to facilitate adultery. On the face of it, this seems to be an immoral service. After all, it seems reasonable to regard adultery as an immoral activity and to knowingly aid another commit an immoral act is, intuitively, also an immoral action. Thus, it would seem that it is right for this service to be denied advertising time during the Superbowl. After all, selling advertising time to this service would be aiding in an immoral activity. Of course, the immorality of selling advertising to a company that helps people engage in immoral behavior would no doubt be a somewhat “small” immorality.

While it might be tempting to praise the advertising people for refusing such advertising, it seems unlikely they are primarily motivated by moral purity. If they were, the advertising they did accept would have a considerably different character.

One possible reason is that they are trying to avoid offending the growing number of female football fans. While women obviously do have affairs or are involved in affairs, women seem to be more inclined to condemn such activity. Hence, it makes sense to refuse to accept the Ashley Madison advertising so as to avoid offending an important and growing demographic.

5 Responses

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  1. magus71 said, on January 17, 2009 at 4:36 am

    To me, immorality and it’s affects has as much to do with accepting wrong-doing as the actual wrong-doing. That’s what has set the West apart from the rest of the world and indeed the rest of history. We are not perfectly moral, but we do not accept immorality and corruption as part of life–we struggle against it.

    Ashley Madison represents the absolute worst in human nature. They’re scum. We can all say that adultery will always occur, but to give in, to accept defeat, is to sell your whole culture down a horrible road. For example, there are many soldiers in the military who cheat on their wives, because sometimes their spouses are in the US and they spend long periods away from them. But if I hear a soldier openly talking about the fact that he plans on hooking up with someone who is not his wife–(and he’s married of course) I avoid that soldier. I know he’s completely relinquished any ability to desipher right and wrong. If, on the other hand, I knew of a soldier who was cheating on his wife, but hiding it because he knew it was wrong, then I would consider that this soldier at least has a chance for redemption. He at least can see the correct path, though he’s not yet on it.

    Ashley Madison is robbing people of their ability to call wrong: wrong. And from that point on, people and whole nations get lost for very long periods of time.

  2. kernunos said, on January 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Agreed, and let us not forget the spouses at home cheating on their loved ones overseas. When these urges come to fruition I wonder how many of them actually question whether they should be married.

  3. Dave said, on January 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    What scares me is this business had enough money to purchase a super bowl ad. Business must be booming. =P

  4. magus71 said, on January 21, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Their business is banging, not booming.

  5. Alexwebmaster said, on March 3, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Hello webmaster
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