Extramarital dating Web site runs billboard featuring Sanford

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COLUMBIA — A Web site that connects people seeking casual and extramarital affairs started running a billboard this week that features the face of former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

A billboard on Interstate 26 features former Gov. Mark Sanford. AshleyMadison.com is a Web site that connects people seeking extramarital affairs.  ASHLEYMADISON.COM/ASSOCIATED PRESS
A billboard on Interstate 26 features former Gov. Mark Sanford. AshleyMadison.com is a Web site that connects people seeking extramarital affairs.

The ad that went up Monday on Interstate 26 near Columbia features the Republican’s smiling face and the words, “Next time use ... AshleyMadison.com to find your ‘running mate.’”

AshleyMadison.com touts itself online as “the most famous name in infidelity and married dating.” Founder Noel Biderman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his Toronto-based company launched the ad to coincide with the former Republican governor’s campaign for the 1st Congressional District, saying that Sanford is a veritable poster child for his company’s premise.

“He represents what we have been articulating for the past decade, which is, what happens in someone’s personal life, that’s their personal choice – it doesn’t mean that they’re not able to govern,” Biderman said. “Just because they’re not capable of monogamy doesn’t mean that they’re not capable of leading.”

Voters will choose between Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a May 7 special election for the seat recently vacated by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.

Sanford admitted in 2009 to an affair with an Argentine woman to whom he is now engaged. He has spoken of his missteps frequently, saying that he believes in “a God of second chances” and hopes voters do, too.

AshleyMadison.com, which has about 12 million U.S. users, used a photo of Sanford found on Wikipedia.org for the billboard. Biderman said he received no response from a text message sent to the candidate on Monday letting Sanford know about the ad.

The billboard, which is on the interstate about 25 miles south of Columbia, isn’t in the 1st District. But Biderman said other ads might pop up in days to come, declining to give details. Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said the Republican’s campaign was more focused on its election with Colbert Busch that is now just a week away.

A spokesman for Colbert Busch’s campaign didn’t immediately return a message.


CHARLESTON, S.C. — Mark Sanford picked up the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in his quest for a vacant South Carolina congressional seat Tuesday, even as House Democrats launched another ad attacking the former governor’s personal indiscretions.

Paul, who has said he is considering a run for the White House, said Sanford has been an advocate for limited government and cutting spending.

“Mark has proven during his time in office that watching out for taxpayers and holding the line on spending are his top priorities,” Paul said in a statement a week before the special congressional election.

– Associated Press

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InChristLove 04/30/13 - 09:34 pm
Isn't there some law against

Isn't there some law against using a persons photo for public advertising without your permission? Or could this be considered slander?

JustLilMe 04/30/13 - 10:37 pm
I think you mean "libel" as

I think you mean "libel" as "slander" is the spoken word.
I think it is funny as hell for an advert. I just can't take him seriously since he publicly spoke about his "soul mate" while still married to another. I'd *like* to take him seriously as he was a pretty sharp cookie until he lost his cookies.....

GiantsAllDay 05/01/13 - 12:27 am
ICL: Slander is spoken and

ICL: Slander is spoken and libel is written. And for it to be libel it has to be untrue. He really did have an affair.

InChristLove 05/01/13 - 06:11 am
Thanks for the explanation

Thanks for the explanation between slander and libel. Still doesn't answer the question whether someone can post your picture for advertising without your permission. I agree the man would not win most intelligent man of the year award but this just seems wrong on so many levels.

Can we take a picture of a mayor or a school president, what about a county commissioner, the owner of a major store or even our neighbor, better yet what about our President, can we take anyone who we think is beyond redemption and post their picture with a negative comment on a billboard? What purpose does it serve except to demean and degrade another individual.....but then I guess that is what our society has become.

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