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  • Dean Smith

Public Political Figure Used in Ashley Madison Ad

According to, a new billboard for Ashley Madison, a dating site for people looking to have an affair, in Columbia, South Carolina featured an image of their former governor, Mark Sanford.

Sandford paid a $70,000 ethics fine in South Carolina after headlines revealed a romp in Buenos Aires with his mistress, later divorcing his wife and asking the mistress for her hand in marriage.

The advertisement showed its face last Tuesday, and stretches across two billboards, the top reading “Next time use…” with a picture of a younger Mark Sanford, known as an unfaithful husband, with the bottom reading, “ to find your ‘running mate.’”

Not sure if this is a genius idea by the Ashley Madison advertising team, who have used political figures for ads previously, or extremely bad timing on behalf of Sanford, “who is attempting to revive his political career with a bid for South Carolina’s vacant 1st Congressional District seat,” according to Kevin Dolak of ABC News. The election will take place tomorrow, May 7th, 2013.

“We are trying to get people to distinguish between capability, and what goes on in bedroom,” said Noel Biderman, Ashley Madison CEO, to “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.”

Biderman views this as a successful advertising campaign, claiming “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. If you took the unfaithful out of the equation, we would have very unsuccessful society.” We’re sure Sanford disagrees, as his office did not respond for comment.

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