Call me Ashley
Since today is Friday and summer is over, it’s time for another clickbait trip through our anonymous tip box.
First, some things you already knew: a bunch of hackers recently threatened to destroy the scumbag cheating site Ashley Madison unless it closed its business and shut down all related properties. The techie aggressors then proceeded to do just that by releasing account information for all 31 million idiots who chose to register and, in most cases, pay real money to use the site.
The least shocking thing about the ongoing Ashley Madison story is not the fact that its proud douchebag CEO resigned today, that 95 percent of the “women” in its network were not real people, or that its paid users include such monumental hypocrites as Josh “My Sisters Forgive Me” Duggar and hedge funder/Bill Clinton hater Dan Loeb.
Even less surprising than these obvious points is the presence of ad agency executives on the now-searchable user list exposed by the hackers’ data dumps.
We already know of a couple, the first being a creative leader at one of the industry’s most recognizable shops. He signed up for AM while at a previous job with a completely different agency, and he must have been extremely bored at the office because he used his work email to join what was already an infamous gathering place for lonely middle-aged men who should know better. Thankfully, the experiment doesn’t seem to have worked because no one got divorced.
The second individual leans a bit more toward the PR/marketing side of things, but he did co-found an Hispanic marketing agency and a tech consultancy–and he has written more than his share of thought leadership pieces on related topics for major business publications. In other words, he is exactly the sort of guy you would expect to find on Ashley Madison.
We have little doubt that the database includes the addresses of more ad industry veterans who were insecure enough to pay money to fantasize about cheating on their wives with robots.
It’s true that Ashley Madison never had any form of email verification system in place, so any number of these execs’ co-workers could have theoretically signed up using their contact information.
We think you’ll agree that this scenario is extremely unlikely.
Can you spell “ponzi?”
Because the world needed another holding company, a new one recently came into being and proceeded to buy several agencies.
The business, however, may not be satisfying its partners’ needs.
One of the company’s founders was recently arrested by the FBI on unrelated fraud charges, and the financials of the shops it acquired began to look a little odd after certain parties did not receive the payment they were owed for services rendered.
Various vendors have reportedly begun contacting clients to ask where their money might be, and at least one agency subsequently lost business due to unpaid bills. The company at the center of this mess allegedly owes several million dollars to all sorts of people, including those who “parted ways” with their employers post-acquisition only to see their severance checks bounce.
Don’t look up
On a lighter note, one West Coast agency recently had a run-in with a light fixture. Like so many Ashley Madison users, this shop’s resident chandelier decided that it had grown a little tired of its surroundings and responded by crashing to the floor all by itself.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident.
The guilty fixture, however, was destroyed.