Global Personals pull out of running affairsdating

Interesting developments! Global Personals have pulled out of running affairsdating. 

We see this as a positive step but we have written to Global Personals with the following questions:
 
1) Is this part of a strategy to withdraw from running or operating websites which encourage/facilitate affairs?
2) Does Global Personals have plans to withdraw from operating the Marital Affair website?
 
We have not heard back from them yet.  We also await dates for the meeting with them that was offered.

It appears that the ‘brand’ of affairsdating has transferred to the US company Ashley Madison who a large company infamous for running such websites and courting controversy.  Recently they were in the news for using a picture of Boris Johnson on one of their billboards and have sought to develop their business in the UK.

Although it is disappointing that the brand has continued it is clear evidence that our pressure has made a difference. We will have to see what their response is to our questions.

National Business Awards ceremony- Tuesday 8th November

Next Tuesday, it is the ceremony for the National Business Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London where Global Personals are shortlisted for 2 of these prestigious awards.  Prime Minister David Cameron have described the awards as an event which celebrates ‘the ‘best of British business’ and Chancellor George Osbourne is due to give the opening speech.

The awards’ judges were made aware that Global Personals’ operate websites such as Marital Affair and we have been told it has been taken into consideration in their scoring. But obviously they could still win. 

Faithfulness Matters does not believe that a company which operates a website such as Marital Affair should be eligible for such government-endorsed recognition.  We would like to know whether George Osbourne agrees with us….

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Global Personals shortlisted for two National Business Awards

Global Personals, the company which runs both Marital Affair and affairsdating websites, has been shortlisted for two awards at the presigious National Business Awards 2011. They are nominated for the BlackBerry Growth Strategy of the Year and the WorldPay Online Business of the Year.

The awards ceremony is held on November 8th at a lavish event at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane in London.  George Osbourne, the Chancellor, is giving the welcoming address.

Faithfulness Matters is concerned to know whether the judges for the awards, which pride themselves on rewarding business excellence, innovation and ethics, are aware of some of the websites which Global Personals are involved in.

Global Personals is clearly a well-run business and is innovative, and we have no problem with the conventional dating sites that it runs and which bring people together to find love. However, we do not consider that websites which promote and profit from people cheating on their partners is legitimate business for a responsible company.  We don’t think anyone should make money from helping to break up people’s relationships.

We want to ensure that those involved in judging the awards have the full facts – especially as a key factor in their decision is the ethics of the companies involved.  It could be deeply embarrassing for the National Business Awards if they were to award a prize to a business that was profiting from human misery in this way.

If you want to join Faithfulness Matters and take action alongside many others concerned about these websites then please read our Statement and then email faithfulnessmatters@gmail.com

Are affairs worth it? by Guy Brandon, Jubilee Centre

Guy Brandon works for the Jubilee Centre, a key partner of Faithfulness Matters, and writes here on the economic effects of unfaithfulness. 

When it comes to difficult questions like sex, affairs and divorce, our culture’s preferred response is to avoid answering them altogether on the grounds that it’s not our place to judge. These are individual, personal decisions, made between consenting adults, and they don’t affect anyone else. Right?

Well, not exactly.

Let’s put to one side the obvious emotional impacts – on partners, who are disproportionately likely to suffer from depression; on children, who are more likely to run into problems at school, drink, and get into trouble as a result; on grandparents, who frequently lose all contact with their grandchildren after a separation. A company that implicitly promotes divorce isn’t going to win any prizes for their ethics, but business is business.

What people don’t tend to recognise is that it’s bad business – financially, let alone morally. There are enormous costs associated with broken relationships. These costs hit the individuals who separate, they hit the taxpayer, and they hit businesses themselves.

A study by Norwich Union (now Aviva) in 2006 found that couples who divorced spent an average of £28,000 when their marriage ended. No one wants to part with that kind of money – especially not under current economic conditions.

Then there’s society collectively. One report from the Relationships Foundation[ calculated that the cost to the taxpayer of relationships breakdown is around £42 billion – in tax credits and lone parent benefits, housing, and then the health, crime and educational impacts. £42 billion is £1,364 per taxpayer.

And then there are businesses themselves. People who divorce or separate get stressed and depressed. They take time off work, or more often they go to work but are unproductive (‘presenteeism’). In this alone divorce costs the UK economy around £20 billion a year. Another estimate suggests that absenteeism and presenteeism cost an estimated £5,000 for every full-time employee who divorces. The costs aren’t borne by the individual, or the taxpayer – they’re borne by the business they work for.

Joined up thinking, anyone?

 

Faithfulness Matters in Daily Telegraph

Below is an excerpt from Ed West’s blog post on the Telegraph website yesterday:

“There seems to be far more ethical grassroots politics in the Labour movement right now. Not among the leadership and front bench, nor with the socially liberal elements who are the face, voice and Twitterfeed of the party. I’m more thinking of the Christian socialist side of the Labour movement which, despite the Blair/Brown government’s various equality obsessions, is actually very strong.

I’m thinking of people like Jon Kuhrt of “Faithfulness Matters”, who works for a homeless charity in London, and who is running a campaign against dating agencies aimed at married people, which have now started advertising on public billboards.

Because most of the agencies are basically one-man operations, Kuhrt is trying to persuade the software and services provider, Global Personal, which creates the platform for thousands of online dating sites, to get rid of them. It’s a slightly grey area: Global Personal plays no role in these sites’ activities except providing, in their words, “dating software and customer care, including monitoring of activity within these sites to protect users”. Yet they do, as their spokeswoman conceded, make money from them and so hold some responsibility for what happens as a result.

Global Personals Ltd have said in a statement that: “It is not for us to have an opinion upon the motivations of people who choose to subscribe to any of the dating websites operating on our network; nor upon those who choose to build an online dating site using our platform, as long as they operate within the law to only involve consenting adults.”

It is not for us to have an opinion… that could be the motto of modern Toryism. Yet Kuhrt takes another view, and is trying to persuade Global Personals CEO Ross Williams to drop the married sites and “concentrate on his core business of bringing people together rather than breaking them up”. Kuhrt, a practising Christian, has told his supporters in the strongest possible terms not to write anything unpleasant, rude or aggressive to Williams, but instead to turn around a man who he thinks is essentially decent.

And he may succeed – Williams has agreed to meet Kuhrt to discuss the issue. And it’s all a bit embarrassing for the firm, as next month they’re up for a National Business Award, an award that emphasizes “excellence, innovation and ethical business” where the welcome address will be given by none other than Chancellor George Osborne.”

Join the movement

Sign up to Faithfulness MattersWe do not simply want to make a big noise about this issue.  We want to be part of something which brings about real change to stop people making money from breaking up relationships.

This campaign’s success will depend on your positive involvement.  Please encourage friends, colleagues and others in the churches or organisations of which you are a part.

Please read the Faithfulness Matters statement and email us at faithfulnessmatters@gmail.com to register your support get involved.

Welcome to Faithfulness Matters

There is a growth of websites emerging which specifically target people who are married or in long term relationships and encourage them to have affairs and cheat on their partners. Companies such as Global Personals run websites such as ‘Marital Affair’ and ‘Affairsdating’ which facilitate people to cheat on their partners.
 
We believe that what these companies are doing is irresponsible and an unacceptable way to conduct business. We want them to withdraw from involvement in websites which encourage people to have affairs.