Married? Life is Short. Have an affair.

That is the new advertisement I am seeing all over Stockholm. They started a couple days ago and in Swedish say, “Är du gift? Gör livet levande – ha en affär.” And this ad was at a bus stop. You know, a place where kids can hang out and ask their parents why people should have affairs.

It could be just my liberal mind, but this seems warped. Actually closer to f’ed up. A company actively promoting adultery?
married? have an affair dating site
This is from Victoria Milan a dating site that’s like the other oddly British named company Ashley Madison (though not British). Great how both have old British names.

And even better that when you do a Google search for the competitor Ashley Madison, half the results are for “Ashley Madison: Scam or Site” but actually are veiled sites in support of the company.

We have a company that has “scam” reviews on the homepage of Google. Then both the IP address and mail server of also serve the domains and Sounds like a good place to do business. You know, loyal and all.

Victoria Milan, the company with the classy bus stop ads promoting infidelity in the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark seems to be the newcomer. Dating in Sweden has just become that more complicated.

So while adultery is no longer a crime in most countries and US states, you can still file for divorce and take everything if you can prove infidelity. Though Victoria Milan has an “Ethics and Law” statement on their site that says, “We are not celebrating nor promoting adultery,” doesn’t a bus stop advertisement count as promoting adultery? Or was this a valuable PSA to all the kids out there?

I smell subpoenas for two companies promoting violating a sacrosanct commitment.

Wow, and I thought I was liberal!

30 thoughts on “Married? Life is Short. Have an affair.”

  1. First…let me say, I don’t condone adultery. @ Andrew But, what if you don’t want to “break up” with the person, but they don’t really want to have sex anymore? Which, BTW is exactly what happens the longer you’re with someone. Personally, I think that online adultery crap is trashy. But, I think people who are prone to cheating will cheat regardless.

    I don’t think one can promote adultery, but one could help facilitate it. I think this sort of thing takes time and energy to get involved in, there’s the sneaking, etc. Just thinking about it gets me overwhelmed. This is a person who is determined to cheat and therefore probably would have done it anyway.

    In regards to the children seeing it….Really? In Sweden where any and everything is seen on television. That’s funny.

  2. If people think life is so short and that you can’t enjoy the a committed relationship then maybe you should not get married. There’s no excuse for cheating at all and the risk of brining home all kinds of diseases to your family/partner makes me sick.

    Oh and Hi again BCOT!

  3. @BCOT – I’m confused as to what’s “funny” that children see bus stop ads advertising infidelity.

  4. Maybe Tiger rans these ads for Elin..

    Seriously, though: irresponsible ad promoting irresponsible behavior. This company either has no morals, or they are doing this on purpose to get attention. A real relationship is based on honesty, and if someone has an affair in a normal, monogamous relationship, that is fundamentally dishonest and inexcusable. I don’t personally like the idea of a (sexually) open relationship, but at least the people are not lying to each other. If someone has an affair, they are a liar, plain and simple.

    Lying is not something a decent society should support. And even if one does not care about the morality their society, one might care about being prosperous. Convincing evidence exists to support the theory that trust is fundamental to wealthy societies, as summarized in this post: “Top Economists: Trust is Necessary for a Stable Economy”:

    In short, don’t have an affair. And if you do, don’t get caught. And if you see someone else having an affair, shame them. We will all be richer for it :)

  5. A friend of a friend heard an Ashley Madison rep at a conference one time. Starts out like, “How many of you have heard of us before?” *silence and eye contact avoidance* “Of course.”

  6. Why the moral panic? If people want to have affairs, let them. It’s not a crime and grown ups are allowed to do whatever they want. If people feel like they will become happier and better persons, then let them do it. I think it’s funny that when the old, traditional core values of the American family (which is based on the Christian core values) is being threatened it’s always such a moral panic about “what the kids will think” and “how can people justify this behavior”, but when it comes to banks taking peoples homes or big international companies selling weapons to shady people that’s no biggie, cus it’s profit and the love of capitalism. So you can promote death but not adultery? Or?

    Mind you Sapphire, I’m not saying that you or anyone else share any of those values I just spoke of, maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but I just thought about how an advertisement like this would go home in the US and other countries that share the same view of what is “damaging do society”.

    And I don’t think the kids seeing this advertisement will become a “damaged” generation. They both see/hear about tits and ass when they turn on the TV here in Sweden since we barely censor anything, people are used to the liberal views here.

  7. @Erik I wonder if you will still say this the day you find out that your wife has been cheating on you. I doubt it.

  8. Erik. You seem to have some misguided notions of the US. You also seem to argue for violating a civil contract rather than upholding it.

    There have been plenty of advertisements of this nature in the US. What makes this advertisement offensive is the usage of “Are you married.” The site is an accessory to committing adultery, which almost anywhere in the world, violates a legal marital contract and enables grounds for divorce.

    Now, if you feel advertising adult services on city owned property (bus stops) is acceptable then I wonder why Swedes are so freaked about alcohol advertising. We should have them on the bus stops, in front of schools, at the dagis. After all, kids are used to liberal views here. Won’t they be used to people having affairs ? Drinking beer? They see that on “2 1/2 men” so it can’t be all bad to advertise booze and sex and prostitution. No moral panic needed. Condone those actions.

    Perhaps there should be gun ads that advertise: “Got a gun? Live life to the fullest and shoot someone.” Is that acceptable? It only promotes shooting someone. According to your theory, children won’t be damaged since they already see/play violent games. Why not condone it outright in society?

    These sites serve as an accessory for someone to break the law criminally (in the some states) and break legal contracts (marital).

    But that’s the traditional Christian person that I am, valuing the law.

  9. I’m personally never planning to EVER marry a Swede so I don’t really mind much about these advertisements popping up. Though I’m not a big fan of cheating but with that said I have nothing against these ads or the site.

    If my partner doesn’t want to be monogamous I’d rather he be up front about it rather than fuck some coked up swedish jailbait in the back alley of a pub then come home and give me AIDs D: if they do that I reserve the right to castrate them. It’s only fair!!!

  10. I saw ads for a similar sites in the States about a year ago. Nothing new. Not surprised it has come here, Sweden seems to be not too far behind with the US in general.

    Rather have wheat thins and root beer personally, than sites like this!

  11. @ Björne: I’d probably not like my wife cheating on me no, but that still doesn’t change the fact that we are two adults in a relationship. And if your wife/husband really feel this advertisement appealing then it’s probably something wrong in your marriage and she/he would probably have cheated anyways, now it just got easier.

    @ Christian the Christian: Oh I’m sure you do have these ads in the US, you can find almost anything there.

    “The site is an accessory to committing adultery, which almost anywhere in the world, violates a legal marital contract and enables grounds for divorce.”
    It’s still not a crime so, people are free to sleep with whoever they choose and get married or divorced. Sweden got one of the highest divorce rates in the world and people don’t really tend to get married here nowadays so, I don’t really think that many Swedes even noticed this commercial.

    And you comparing adultery to alcohol (or arms trade) is just ridiculous, consuming alcohol in high amounts usually effect more people than you. You loose your judgement, crime rates increase, the amount of abuses increase, the amount traffic accidents increase and so on. Adultery doesn’t have that effect on people. When Systembolaget was introduced in the fifties the Swedish population almost drank themselves to death. Much like Russia is doing now. So I guess, when adultery start to have that effect on Swedish society (birth rates dropping, more people drying then being born, huge amount of alcohol related crimes) we have to introduce a ban or restriction to this kind of advertisement as well.

  12. I’m going to get married soon. Such a relief I wasn’t in any of the countries stated above that promotes this kind of ads.
    Nevertheless, this is between the couple. I just hope the freedom/space we give each other in a relationship won’t become this ‘lenient’.

  13. Erik – The “loss of judgement” is the FIRST and MAIN ingredient of adultery! Never heard the phrase “oh, he thinks with his c*ck”?
    crime rates can increase when the injured party in the triangle finds out and murders/beats up their spouse or competitor!
    The same goes for “abuse”…”traffic accidents”?…not so much i guess.

    In my opinion Sweden is killing itself with “liberalism”. Alcohol abuse seems to be a national sport.When a guy can’t chat up a girl without being totally drunk as a skunk and making a complete prick of himself, it’s bad. When girls actually EXPECT a guy to wait until he’s drunk as a skunk before chatting them up…is shameful!
    Follow this up wth the explosion in online/offline poker and general gambling, which seems to be reaching epidemic proportions here. Heavy debt and problems there.

    There’s always been a very open liberalism about sex and nudity here in Sweden,which in turn around the world has given it a reputation for having beautiful,”easy” nymphomaniacal women who are all part time porn stars! When foriegners..yes certain “immigrants” arrive and find out the reality it can and does cause problems and rape. It’s what they expect, and as women are “worthless” to many of these males, being rejected is too big an insult for many to deal with.

    But that’s Sweden. A country so liberalized it’s eating itself away from the inside! So..why should these commercials be such a shock? I read on here all the time how Swedish girls will (possibly) sleep with a guy even if they already have a boyfriend, and vice versa. Why should being married bother people who have grown up this way?

    It’s morally wrong that companies use things like this to entice and entrap people into difficulties they’re not ready to handle just to make money….but then, someone allows them to do it! *shrug*

  14. @ Dano: First of all, sure, there is a loss of judgement on the cheating part, I’ve never argued against that. But the likelihood that someone that has been a “victim” of a cheating spouse goes on a rage and beats up/kills someone is far less then if you are really, really drunk. And when you’re drunk you are effected by a foreign substance that will reduce your rational behavior and that is not the case if you have been cheated on, even though you might be in emotional distress of course. And do you honestly think that people standing at the bus stop who see this add will suddenly have the urge to have sex with random strangers? If they do, they have probably thought about doing so before, or already done it.

    Secondly, the alcohol abuse has always been in Sweden. We are in the vodka belt. Why do you think that they introduced Systembolaget? People always (especially those that aren’t from Sweden) argue against Systembolaget without even knowing why it’s there. Those countries that are in the vodka belt, Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Baltic states all have problems with alcohol related deaths, crimes and so on. Russia doesn’t have Systembolaget, and they die at like 60 over there. Cus they drink. A lot. Swedes has been drinking like this for many hundreds of years. Brännvin and vodka. You usually drank it to dinner or got paid your salary in bränndvin or vodka. It has nothing to do with our liberalized view of society.

    And just cus the rest of the world thinks that Sweden is filled with “beautiful” blonds with big breasts named Helga that love to have sex, well, that’s not our problem. It just shows that the rest of the world obviously needs better education. The Swedish tourist agency doesn’t promote this view and none of my friends would go off with a random stranger at any given time of the day to have sex in a back alley.

    Plus you talk about this poker problem as being the biggest problem in the Swedish society. First of all, we didn’t start the crash in the world economy due to defaulted loans, the US did. It wasn’t Swedes that lived on borrowed money that we couldn’t pay back. This “liberalized” societies economy grew with 7,3 % the last quarter, almost in par with China. We got low teen pregnancy, high living standards and long lifespans. So obviously this “liberalized” society has done something right and is not “being eaten from the inside out”.

  15. @Erik – not sure what the economic crisis has to do with infidelity but get back on topic.


    We should also move away from the gambling debt discussion since this is off topic.


    The questions at hand are:
    Is it acceptable for a company to advertise infidelity (especially in states that promote violating a marriage contract – yes a marriage is a legal contract)?

    Is it acceptable for a company to promote a service that advocates lying and cheating to a committed partner?

    Is it acceptable for these advertisements to appear on 1. public property (bus stop, train stations, etc); 2. adult locations (bars, clubs, etc); or, 3. not at all?

    Should society react or take the laissez-faire approach to this kind of behavior?

  16. Since 1988 the marriage is a strictly economical contract. In church you make a promise about faithfulness, but a promise is not a contract. You’re a bastard if you brake it, but not a criminal.

    As far as I know this is the first time anyone advertises adultery in Sweden, so I don’t think there are any laws against it. We do have laws against advertising things that aren’t illegal, but adultery is not one of them – yet. This will likely spark a discussion, after which the parliament can decide whether the moral grounds are serious enough to make it illegal.

    Until then they should be allowed to advertise.

    You are of course free to contact the politicians about your concerns. Start the ‘Ban adultery ads’ lobby group. :)

  17. I find it rather bothersome that the government would step-in and ban this advertising. They can marketing snus, cigarets and alcohol to adults, why not this?

    It’s not the company who’s committing the adultery, they are just providing a medium to connect to others with, much like those STD/STI dating websites. Think of it as going to SprayDate/PlentyOfFish/Craigslist and specifically targeting/looking for others who are in a relationship and want a change.

    Yes they are taking a dirty angle here, but it’s driving PR for them, and there is no such thing as bad PR! I now _KNOW_ of this site, and thus, their brand recognition has worked, and who knows, someone may end up using their services.

  18. Geez, people get upset way to easily. This is a total non-issue as far I’m concerned

  19. “Is it acceptable for a company to advertise infidelity (especially in states that promote violating a marriage contract – yes a marriage is a legal contract)?

    I thought this is Sweden where that concept does not even exist. Thanks god.

  20. We had a similar controversy in the United States of similar billboards. I forgot the exact campaign but they were either promoting adultery and cheating or about just divorcing your wife. The sanctity of marriage is definitely under fire.

  21. The controversy you may be remembering in the US was about the Super Bowl 2011. This company tried to buy an ad and FOX wouldn’t take the ad. In the US we have Standards and Practices boards for the networks because the networks are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, and can have their licenses revoked for violating what’s considered “common decency”. So the networks self-police. The Super Bowl is an especially sensitive event after the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction of the early 2000s.

  22. The attitudes are pretty different as i just saw Finnish children’s program and they had “full frontal” nudity there – as they showed family going to sauna together… I doubt they will sell that to US as children’s program….

    Everybody in continental Europe and Scandinavia thought the whole issue of “nipplegate” as hilarious as that simply would not happen here. Walking thru a park in Germany during summer time will exposure you much more than what J.Jackson was showing :-)

  23. It’s just an add , dont take it that seriously. I’m sure kids wont be affected by it, especially in Sweden where they dont marry anymore (which doesnt mean they cheat either). A child’s education background wont come from the adds they read in buss stations. If you think so then you are an american:)))
    When i saw it..i simply laught a bit. Made my day. Will i cheat cos life is too short? No. Will i cheat cos of other reasons they failed to meantion in the add? Probably. Cheating is smtg between me, my partner, our life together and our differences. Somewhere in this ecuation smtg goes wrong. Thats it.

  24. There is a difference between promoting open relationships and promoting adultery. In an open relationship, both parties know what they signed up for and have some say in their own “rule setting” and boundaries. You can be married and still have various types of open relationships.

    In adultery, however, one party makes the decision unilaterally – they don’t have the guts to bring up their desires to their partner and accept the consequences (or possibly the freedom) of being honest. They want to have it both ways – have a partner who is committed to them, but without that courtesy in return.

    i.e. I don’t think you are not “liberal” for thinking people should keep their word, whatever that word was. :)

  25. Amberella – I agree with you. There are couples out there who are open with their relationships. Where I take issue with this advertisement is that it clearly states married people need to live life to its fullest by having an affair. Plus the using of affair means having a relationship with someone else when the first person does not know, which leads to adultery. Affär in Swedish has the same meaning “kärleksaffär utanför förhållandet.”

    Had this ad not asked if you were married (är du gift?) I wouldn’t care. But since society accepts marriage as a monogamous, committed relationship (you are asked about commitment and being fidel to your partner by a priest/civil judge), Victoria Milan really comes off as a nasty company.

    Plus, I was shocked to see this advertisement at the bus stop in front of the train station. Walking by there everyday, it’s maximum foot traffic for adults and children. Perhaps I hadn’t had my coffee, but every morning I woke with a little shock and ewww when passing it.

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