February 02, 2009

Despite slow sales that only barely sold out Super Bowl advertising, and that during the week of the Super Bowl itself (and we don't know at what price incentive the last two spots were sold), the Ashley Madison commercial was not among them. Having an affair is not yet against the law, nor is helping and abetting such an affair -- yet apparently we still must not acknowledge that fact on national television, and national television dare not profit from it (directly).

Never mind the minor point that, during the opening scenes of a full-fledged depression, Ashley Madison appears to be one of the few companies easily able to absorb the astronomical cost of such a commercial. Obviously the business is thriving -- as is its counterpart and complement, Alibi Network -- which suggests in turn that obviously a need is being met.

Equally obviously, the word of mouth, free mass media, and blogosphere publicity garnered by the commercial's having been rejected is much more valuable as airing the commercial would have been.

Yet whatever the monetary cost, whatever the background truth, the rejection does allow us to retain our determined image of our own society for just a little longer. Who can put a price on that?

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